Cath Kidston seeks buyer to save brand

Cath Kidston is looking for a buyer to save the business and around 800 jobs.

The fashion and homeware retailer has appointed restructuring firm Alvarez & Marsal to conduct a strategic review.

The first Cath Kidston store was opened by the British designer of the same name in Holland Park, London, in 1993.

In 2016, the brand was sold to American private equity firm TA Associates, which then sold its stake to Baring Private Equity Asia in 2016, which hoped to expand the chain into Asia.

The company now has 200 stores in 16 different countries, but still makes about two-thirds of its sales from 60 stores in the UK.

In 2018, the most recent accounts, the company made a £19.6 million loss on £130.7 million of sales.

Sky News reported that it recorded an additional loss of £11 million before tax in the nine months to December, according to information sent to potential bidders.

“Cath Kidston has been actively implementing a new business strategy to support the growth of the brand while managing the many pressures in the retail sector,” a spokesman stated.

“This includes dealing with the outbreak of COVID-19, which has been impacting the business globally since the beginning of the year - we have therefore initiated a process to explore options for the business, to enable the management team to continue implementing their strategy to deliver growth.”

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