Baring hopes Cath Kidston will flower in Asia

The Asia-based firm has bought a stake from majority shareholder TA Associates

Baring Private Equity Asia has bought a “substantial” stake in UK-based retailer Cath Kidston from majority owner TA Associates and members of the company’s management team.

The deal will see Baring take equal ownership of the company alongside the Boston-based private equity firm, ahead of a planned expansion of the Cath Kidston brand into Asia, according to a TA statement.

No financial details of the transaction were disclosed. However, previous media reports have suggested that TA originally bought a stake of about 60 percent, and that any deal would value Cath Kidston at roughly £250 million ($427 million; €316 million). That would value today’s deal at about £75 million, assuming TA has sold half its stake.

A spokesman for TA declined to comment on the size of its stake or the deal value.

Baring typically invests around 30-40 percent of its capital in China-based businesses, but is active across Asia.

“We believe that cross-border transactions of this nature will increasingly enable Baring Asia to demonstrate the value that our pan-Asia network and hands-on operational experience can bring to Western corporations looking to develop their business in the region,” Dar Chen, a managing director at Baring, said in a statement.

In May, Baring officially launched its sixth fund into the market with a $3 billion target, a step above its $2.46 billion predecessor.

TA strengthened its Asia offering at the start of the year by naming Ed Sippel and Naveen Wadhera, both previously directors at TA, as co-heads of Asia at the firm.

Sippel is based in the firm’s Hong Kong office and focuses on investments across the Asia-Pacific region. Previous deals of his have included TA’s investment in Nintex Group in 2013, as well as earlier investments in Hong Kong-listed Foregame and SpeedCast. Wadhera leads the firm’s India operations from the Hong Kong office, as well as focusing on Asia-wide investments. His deals include the firm’s $25 million investment in India-based Fractal Analytics in June 2013.