(Adds details on shareholdings, expansion, comment by CEO)
LONDON Oct 3 Cath Kidston, the British
homewares and fashion brand known for vintage-inspired floral
prints, has set its sights on further expansion abroad, it said
on Monday in announcing its takeover by private equity firm
Baring Asia and the appointment of former Gucci boss William
Flanz as chairman.
Cath Kidston said Baring, one of the largest private equity
groups in Asia and already a big shareholder, has bought the
remaining stake held by TA Associates, the U.S. private equity
firm which sold half its 80 percent stake to Baring Asia in
The two firms did not reveal the price of the latest deal.
Cath Kidston has 226 stores, with 70 percent located outside
"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," Flanz, a senior adviser to Baring Asia,
said in a statement.
Cath Kidston Chief Executive Kenny Wilson said Baring has
already proved invaluable in helping develop the brand in Asia,
increasing its presence from 91 to 133 Asian stores since Baring
bought into the company two years ago.
The label, seen as quintessentially British, began as a
small shop in the upmarket area of Holland Park in London where
Kidston sold homewares and clothing made from vintage fabrics.
Kidston took inspiration from her rural English upbringing
to create whimsical flowery prints which proved wildly popular
in Asia, with queues around the block at her first Tokyo shop
opening in 2006.
Japan is now the brand's second biggest market, and it has
plans to launch in Latin America and India.
According to a person familiar with the matter, the
acquisition takes Baring's stake to 80 percent, while founder
Cath Kidston herself owns 11 percent and senior management 9
Baring manages about $10 billion in assets and has stakes in
35 companies focused on Asia.
(Reporting by Helen Reid; editing by Kate Holton, Greg Mahlich)