Sky News has reported that advisors Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) have notified potential bidders that offers are required imminently for Cath Kidston to avoid becoming the latest high street casualty. A&M have been tasked with undertaking an urgent review of its strategic options.
The company employs around 800 people and has 60 stores across the UK and more than 200 globally, including its flagship store in Piccadilly that opened in 2016.
Cath Kidston’s founder sold her majority shares 10 years ago netting a reported £100m. In 2016 Baring Private Equity Asia took full control of the Company who hoped to expand the brand into the Far East.
For the accounting period ending 26 March 2017, the restated figures show a loss of £18m, rising to £39m for the period ending 25 March 2018 when Melinda Paraie joined in a bid to turn around the struggling retailer. After cutting operating costs by some 40%, closing a number of non profitable stores and introducing an online platform, it is reported that the business was turning around.
Given the difficulties the retail sector now faces over the coming months amidst the pandemic, is anyone willing to buy struggling retail outlets when the future of the high street has never been so uncertain?