Cath Kidston has sold a stake in the business to private equity firm Baring Asia as it plans over 100 stores in China within three years.
Baring Asia has made a “significant new investment” in Cath Kidston, according to the retailer.
The private equity firm will have an equal ownership to existing Cath Kidston shareholder TA Associates. Baring Asia acquired its stake from TA Associates and Cath Kidston’s management team.
Cath Kidston chief executive Kenny Wilson said: “With Baring’s deep understanding of China I think it will help us accelerate the plans we already have in place. It is about speeding up our plans more than anything.
“They bring a great deal of operational expertise and local understanding. Anyone can open up a bunch of stores in Asia, the question is can you open the right stores in the right locations.
“With the continuing support of TA Associates we now have an even greater opportunity to build on the enormous appeal of the Cath Kidston brand internationally. This is an extremely exciting time for the company.”
Wilson said the company has plans to open stores in Guangzhou alongside stores in Beijing and Shanghai as part of a strategy of rolling out stores in clusters.
The retailer has 100 stores overseas in countries including China, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan and Thailand.
Wilson believes the retailer could open as many as 50 stores in Japan and hopes to tap into the growing middle class in Indonesia.
Cath Kidston also has ambitions to develop its multi-channel proposition beyond its current offering. The retailer currently runs ecommerce operations in Japan and Korea through third parties and does not have a web selling presence in China, but Wilson hinted this could soon change.
Baring Asia managing director Dar Chen said: “The Cath Kidston 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.”
TA Associates managing director Christopher Parkin said: “Cath Kidston continues to deliver excellent growth internationally. We welcome the involvement of Baring Asia as a new investor and look forward to working closely with them and with management as Cath Kidston continues its international expansion.”