Baring Asia becomes majority owner of Cath Kidston
Cath Kidston shareholder Baring Private Equity Asia has acquired the equity stake of TA Associates, becoming the majority owner of the company.
Baring Asia, one of the largest and most established independent private equity firms in Asia, first become a shareholder in Cath Kidston in 2014, when it acquired a minority stake.
Cath Kidston, famed for its vintage-inspired floral prints, has made international expansion in Asia a strategic priority. Since Baring Asia’s initial investment in 2014, the number of Asian stores has increased from 91 to 133, and the first stores in India are set to open in early Autumn 2016.
The British retailer currently sells its products in 15 countries across Asia and the Middle East, with 70% of its stores now located outside of the UK.
As part of the deal, William Flanz of Baring Asia and ex-Chairman and CEO of Gucci Group, will join the retailer as Chairman. He will replace Paul Mason, who is stepping down after six years in the role.
Cath Kidston’s CEO Kenny Wilson said: “We are entering a really exciting new stage under a single owner. Baring Asia’s decision to increase its shareholding is a fantastic endorsement of the potential of the Cath Kidston brand and I would like to welcome Bill Flanz. When Baring first invested just over two years ago we said we wanted to find the right partner to help us manage the development of the brand in Asia and exploit its full potential, and Baring has been invaluable in helping us do this.”
“We believe the Cath Kidston brand and business have great potential to grow across the globe, and are committed to delivering on that potential and securing the longer-term success of the company,” commented William Flanz, incoming Chairman.
Paul Mason, Cath Kidston’s outgoing Chairman added: “I have enjoyed six great years helping to build a fantastic team and turn Cath Kidston into a successful international business. When I joined, Cath Kidston had only six stores outside the UK. Today it has over 200 stores around the world, Japan is its second biggest market, it is entering India and working on launching into Latin America. We have recruited some of the best names in global retail to the Cath Kidston management team. I have enjoyed my time at the company immensely and wish the business the very best for the future”.
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