Next reportedly in advanced talks to snap up Cath Kidston brand - what we know so far

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It’s been reported that a deal to add Cath Kidston to Next’s FTSE-100 portfolio is almost at agreement

Retail giant behind Next is reportedly in talks to buy Cath Kidston, the prominent vintage brand. Sky News first reported that the FTSE-100 chain could reach a deal to acquire the troubled brand.

The FTSE-100 chain, which has a market value of close to £8.7bn, is likely to close the deal with Cath Kidston. Sky News reports that bank sources say an agreement is likely but still not certain.

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Cath Kidston was bought out of administration little more than two years ago by Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA). Previously the brand had tonnes of shops, but now trades from fewer than a handful of its own outlets, after going into administration in 2020 which resulted in the loss of nearly 1,000 jobs.

Cath Kidston has been a well established brand for decades since being established by Cath Kidston in 1993. It became a high street fixture known for its floral and polka dot designs,  It has been run by Melinda Paraie, who joined as chief executive from luxury goods brand Coach in 2018.

This is the latest in a long line of purchases and attempted deals to further build the Next’s portfolio which is full of wholly owned retail labels. Its acquisition strategy has focused on established names which have run into financial difficulties and can benefit from Next’s logistics and marketing muscle.

Previously, Next bid for TopShop, which was the biggest seller in Sir Philip Green’s high street empire, but pulled out of an auction before the brand was sold to ASOS.

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Cath Kidston used to have a store at Gunwharf Quays.Cath Kidston used to have a store at Gunwharf Quays.
Cath Kidston used to have a store at Gunwharf Quays.

Among the brands it has bought are Made, the online furniture retailer, and Joules, the fashion group which collapsed into administration late last year. The company is due to report full-year results on Wednesday and is forecast by City analysts to unveil record pre-tax profits of more than £850m.

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