Investment firm Endless has acquired online maternity specialist Kiddicare from Morrisons for £2m, Retail Week can reveal.
Endless managing partner Garry Wilson said: “Kiddicare has a history as a trusted brand in the children’s market. We will be working hard with management to grow the business over the long-term.”
Endless, which outbid private equity firm Better Capital to buy the etailer, has acquired Kiddicare’s online operations and its 11 stores, which is thought to include its head office show room.
Morrisons said it will retain the liabilities relating to 10 Kiddicare store leases and is “confident the £163m provision announced at its Preliminary Results in March 2014, will cover all the costs associated with its exit from the business”. Morrisons put Kiddicare up for sale in March after the retailer concluded it did not fit with its strategic priorities.
Rothschild has been running the sale for Morrisons.
Morrisons bought Kiddicare for £70m in 2011 with plans to use its ecommerce skills and platform to help its own online debut. However, its subsequent technology deal with Ocado meant that Kiddicare’s systems were no longer needed. Under Morrisons, Kiddicare in 2012 opened 10 stores in former Best Buy shops, which contributed to spiralling losses at the maternity business.
Kiddicare recorded sales in the year ended February 2014 of about £80m.
Earlier this month, Endless sold Bathstore in a management buyout. It also owns discounter The Works.