Cath Kidston’s owner has bought the online, franchise and wholesale business in a pre-pack deal, resulting in the closure of its 60 stores and more than 900 redundancies.
Baring Private Equity Asia has, struck a deal with administrators and acquired the assets through an independent sale process as CK Acquisitions.
The private equity firm has held a stake in Cath Kidston since 2014.
The bid did not include Cath Kidston’s 60 UK stores, which will not reopen following the coronavirus lockdown.
Around 918 staff have been made redundant, with 70 jobs being saved.
It comes after Cath Kidston appointed Alvarez & Marsal and law firm Shoosmiths as administrators to undertake an urgent review of the business, including a potential sale.
Melinda Paraie, chief executive of Cath Kidston, said: “While we are pleased that the future of Cath Kidston has been secured, this is obviously an extremely difficult day as we say goodbye to many colleagues. Despite our very best efforts, against the backdrop of COVID-19, we were unable to secure a solvent sale of the business which would have allowed us to avoid administration and carry on trading in our current form. I would like to thank all our employees for their hard work, loyalty and patience over the last few weeks as we worked through this process.
“We now look to the future and are focused on transforming Cath Kidston into a brand-first, digital-led business with a continuing mission to brighten customers’ lives with our much-loved, British-inspired prints and designs.”
A spokesperson for Baring Private Equity Asia said: “While we are disappointed that the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in the cessation of the retail store network and impacted many employees, we are pleased to have secured a future for a number of Cath Kidston staff and the Cath Kidston brand in the form of a viable digital business. Going forward we will continue to help the company grow through its e-commerce platform and international wholesale and franchise businesses. We would like to thank Melinda and the company’s management team for their hard work in managing through this difficult economic crisis and establishing a viable future for the business in the UK.”
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