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Baring Asia buys controlling stake in Cath Kidston

Published 03/10/2016

The Cath Kidston store in Portobello Road in London's Notting Hill
The Cath Kidston store in Portobello Road in London's Notting Hill

Private equity firm Baring Asia has taken full control of homewares and clothing retailer Cath Kidston after snapping up a controlling stake in the business.

Details of the deal were not disclosed, but it is understood that Baring, which has held 40% of the firm since 2014, acquired another 40% from fellow private equity group TA Associates, giving it an 80% holding.

Ms Kidston herself and management are thought to own the remainder.

As part of the deal, former Gucci boss William Flanz will step into the role of chairman, replacing Paul Mason.

The move comes amid an acceleration of growth in Asia, with Cath Kidston now operating 133 stores in the region. Later this year, the firm will open its first stores in India, with an initial two in Delhi, and openings in Mumbai to follow.

A total of 70% of Cath Kidston's 226 stores are located outside the UK.

Chief executive Kenny Wilson said: "We are entering a really exciting new stage under a single owner.

"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."

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