LONDON — Baring Private Equity Asia has taken a “significant” stake in Cath Kidston, the British accessories, clothing and home ware brand, although the terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
Baring Asia acquired its stake from Cath Kidston’s existing majority shareholder, TA Associates, and members of the company’s management team. Baring Asia will now have an equal ownership with TA, the company said Tuesday.
A high street brand known for its kitschy, Fifties-inspired prints that cover everything from oven mitts, sewing kits and key chains to sneakers, dresses, and children’s pajamas, Kidston has 100 international stores, skewed toward Asia.
It has 66 stores in the U.K., and operates in markets including China, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan and Thailand.
Since 2010, the brand has been majority owned by the private equity firm TA Associates, which also holds a stake in the French contemporary label Zadig & Voltaire.
Cath Kidston, who founded the company a little over 20 years ago with a single shop in Holland Park, London, remains a minority shareholder, and is the brand’s creative director.
A spokeswoman for the company said Tuesday that Kidston would remain a shareholder and will continue to be involved in the business following Baring’s investment.
The company confirmed there are big plans to expand into the Far East, and that “securing the expertise of Baring Asia to further the development of its business in the region was a key consideration for the company.”
Kidston’s chief executive officer Kenny Wilson said, “Baring Asia’s support and operational experience will be invaluable as we expand further in the region. With the continuing support of TA Associates we now have an even greater opportunity to build on the…appeal of the brand internationally.”
Dar Chen, a managing director at Baring Asia, said the brand “has demonstrated its significant appeal and established a strong following in Asia. We look forward to working with the management team to further develop the brand across the region.”
The company has said that according to its research, one in five women in the U.K. has purchased or received a Cath Kidston product, while 50 percent of all purchases are gifts.