Shoosmiths and Eversheds Sutherland lead on Next’s acquisition of struggling lifestyle brand Cath Kidston

Shoosmiths team advises administrators PwC as Eversheds acts for Next

UK law firms Shoosmiths and Eversheds Sutherland have been called in for Next’s acquisition out of administration of lifestyle and home brand Cath Kidston. 

Shoosmiths has advised Cath Kidston administrator PwC on the sale of the company’s brand, website and IP to Next, advised by Eversheds, for £8.5m

It is the second time the brand has gone into administration in two years and PwC said its four remaining shops would stay open “to trade down stock before closing permanently”. It is believed around 125 jobs are at risk.

The Shoosmiths team was led by James Keates, head of the firm’s corporate restructuring and advisory (CR&A) team, with support from CR&A partner Lee Sennett and a trio of associates. 

Keates commented: “We were pleased to advise PwC on this transaction, which has been completed as the retail sector continues to be exposed to testing market conditions. We are happy that we have been able to play our part in securing the future of this iconic British brand.”

The Eversheds team included partners David Gray (insolvency), Robin Johnson (M&A), David Hughes (privacy) and Rachel Cooper (project finance) alongside a supporting cast of seven associates. 

After its collapse in 2020, with the loss of more than 900 jobs, the brand was bought and relaunched by private investment firm Baring Private Equity Asia, which sold the business to restructuring firm Hilco Capital last year. 

PwC said Cath Kidston had navigated “incredibly challenging market conditions” in recent years, including pandemic restrictions and most recently the decline in consumer spending driven by cost of living pressures and rising costs. 

The company, which was founded in 1993, operates stores in London, Ashford, Cheshire Oaks and York. 

An Eversheds team also advised Next, which has been snapping up struggling retailers recently, on its acquisition of defunct furniture brand late last year. was advised by Davis Polk on the £3.4m deal in a corporate capacity while Herbert Smith Freehills advised on the administration.

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