Cath Kidston set to enter administration

Mon, 06 Apr 2020 | ADMINISTRATION

Clothing, accessories and homeware retailer Cath Kidston has filed notice of its intention to appoint administrators, as the coronavirus shutdown continues to put pressure on high street retailers.

Prior to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the retailer had been in the midst of a turnaround plan. However, after the outbreak mandated store closures, it furloughed 820 of its 941 employees, remaining open online.

Last month, it appointed adviser Alvarez & Marshal and law firm Shoosmiths to oversee a review of the business and explore options, including a potential sale. A spokesperson for Cath Kidston says that the issuing of a notice of intention to appoint administrators is part of that process.

The spokesperson said that advisers continued exploring the best options for the company. There has reportedly been interest from potential buyers and, according to reports, a pre-pack administration is now seen as the most likely outcome.

In its most recent accounts, to the year ending March 25 2018, Cath Kidston reported a £10.5 million loss in EBITDA, saying that “upwards pressure on costs” and “tough underlying market conditions” had taken on a toll on its performance.

In those accounts, the retailer reported sales of £119.8 million, a 4.1 per cent increase from £115.1 million the year before. Gross profit, however, registered a 3.6 per cent drop, from £69.6 million in 2017 to £67.1 million in 2018.

At the time, Cath Kidston reported holding current assets of close to £71.1 million, total assets of around £85.5 million and net assets of almost £25 million.

Cath Kidston was founded in 1993 and has expanded to 60 shops in the UK and 200 locations globally. In 2016 it was acquired by Baring Private Equity Asia, for an undisclosed purchase price.

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