Hilco Capital Buys British Homeware, Clothing Brand Cath Kidston

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LONDON — British homeware and clothing brand Cath Kidston has a new owner: Hilco Capital, which specializes in distressed assets and other investments.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Cath Kidston, which is known for its retro-tinged designs, jaunty patterns and products including clothing, pajamas, tote bags and childrenswear, filed for administration in 2020 but relaunched shortly after under the same owners, Baring Private Equity Asia.

Most recently, Baring has focused on pumping up online sales and building the wholesale and franchise businesses.

For the year ended March 2022, Cath Kidston achieved sales of 29 million pounds and delivered a profit, according to BPEA, which did not give a figure. BPEA said Hilco will “support the dynamic next phase of the company’s growth.”

Cath Kidston has four U.K. stores, and eight international franchise partners that operate 95 shops-in-shop. It also has a robust wholesale business, while the e-commerce site ships to more than 50 countries.

Around one-third of revenue is generated outside the U.K. and the plan is to expand further, notably in the U.S. and Japan, through licensing, digital and franchise partnerships.

The company also plans to expand into new categories such as furniture and home decor, and is planning to announce a new brand tie-up soon.

In the past, Cath Kidston has partnered with brands including Disney, Beatrix Potter and Harry Potter. The brand said its Platinum Jubilee collection sold out four weeks ahead of the event, which took place in early June.

In October 2021, Cath Kidston launched its first collection under its new creative director Holly Marler.

Marty Wikstrom, non-executive chair at Cath Kidston, said the Hilco team “have committed to taking the company to its next stage of growth, which will allow us to invest further in e-commerce and expand into new markets.

“Following our pivot during COVID-19, the company is performing strongly and orders from our international and U.K. franchisees and wholesale partners grew 40 percent for the year ending March 2022,” she said.

Hilco said it has “long admired the Cath Kidston brand and we are extremely pleased to have been chosen to take the company on the next stage of its journey.”