Fast Retailing joins L Capital in race to buy Cath Kidston

Tuesday, 15 April 2014
The owner of fashion brand Uniqlo is said to have joined LVMH's investment vehicle, L Capital, in a 250 million pounds bid-race to acquire a control stake in Cath Kidston. Fast Retailing's bid will reportedly fetch 250 million pounds for a 65 percent stake of the British apparel and fabrics retailer´s equity.

US private equity firm TA Associates, owner of Cath Kidston, is said to be in talks with a small number of overseas bidders about selling the renowned colourful floral prints maker. The disclosure of potential suitors for Cath Kidston comes after it was revealed in December that the retailer had hired investment bank UBS to examine strategic options reminded ‘The Guardian’ earlier this week.

Uniqlo's owner eyes Cath Kidston

As per the current company´s shareholding, TA Associates own the 65 percent of the company, with namesake creative director and founder Cath Kidston holding a 23 percent and the remaining 12 percent in hands of other investors.

Cath Kidston runs 61 stores in the UK alones, plus other 75 worldwide and last year, the group witnessed a 19 percent growth of revenue to 105 million pounds, with pre-tax profit - before interest and depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) – also increased, by 13 percent.

Kidston set up the business in a small shop in Holland Park, London, in 1993 and expanded it in the UK and overseas before TA bought a majority stake in 2010. It opened its first shop in Japan in 2006.

Shares in the Japanese owner of Uniqlo fell 3 percent Monday on the news of Fast Retailing competing against LVMH to buy into Cath Kidston´s equity.

Angela González Rodríguez

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