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Next in talks to snap up Cath Kidston - report

By Abigail Townsend

Date: Tuesday 28 Mar 2023

Next in talks to snap up Cath Kidston - report

(Sharecast News) - Retailer Next is in advanced talks to buy vintage-inspired brand Cath Kidston, it was reported on Tuesday.
According to Sky News, the blue chip is close to agreeing a deal with owner Hilco Capital, the specialist restructuring and investment firm, which acquired the homewares and fashion brand less than a year ago. Cath Kidston has a market value of around £8.7bn, Sky said.

Neither Next nor Hilco have commented on the report.

Should the deal go ahead, it will be the latest in a number of acquisitions Next has carried out recently, as it looks to build a portfolio of wholly-owned retail brands. In November it acquired online furniture group Made out of administration before agreeing to buy fashion retailer Joules in a £34m rescue deal in December.

It also bid for Philip Green's TopShop before eventually pulling out of the auction, which saw Asos snap up the brand in early 2021.

Cath Kidston, which was founded by the eponymous Kidston in 1993, was acquired by Baring Private Equity Asia in 2016. It went into administration in 2020, with the loss of 1,000 jobs, but was relaunched shortly afterwards by BPEA after it struck a pre-pack insolvency deal. Most of its UK high street estate was closed under the deal.

At the time of its sale to Hilco in June last year, Cath Kidston said that following its "pivot" during Covid-19, it was now performing "strongly", with orders from international and UK franchisees and wholesale partners up 40% in the year to March 2022.

Sky said PricewaterhouseCoopers had been advising Hilco on the sale for several weeks now, with talks held with a number of potential bidders.

Shares in Next, which is due to publish full-year results this week, were largely flat at 1045 BST at 6,696p.


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