Sunday 17 December 2017

Buyers queue up for Kate Spade as Irish sales grow

Andy and Kate Spade, who co-founded the fashion label in New York in 1993 with a handbag range
Andy and Kate Spade, who co-founded the fashion label in New York in 1993 with a handbag range
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

Popular fashion label, Kate Spade & Co, which is stocked in Brown Thomas and Kildare Village, may be sold, according to reports in the US.

The company is said to be preparing for first-round bids amid renewed speculation that the handbag and accessories maker will be acquired by a competitor.

The brand has a strong following in Ireland and has an outlet store in Kildare Village.

According to the most recent accounts for Kate Spade UK, turnover was up 26pc in the year to January 2016. This was "primarily due to a full year's trading of out outlet in Ireland" as well as its British e-commerce business.

The company had a turnover of £13.3m (€15.6m), an increase of £2.8m on the previous year. It recorded a pre-tax loss of £181,000. The company said it expected trading to increase, although warned that the Brexit vote could result in greater restrictions on trade between the UK and EU. However, the company was confident it could manage any risks which may arise.

Bloomberg has previously reported that Kate Spade has received interest from retailers such as Coach and Michael Kors.

Kate Spade was slated to begin a formal auction process last month, with six potential bidders expressing interest, a person familiar with the situation said at the time.

The move follows pressure from Caerus Investors, a hedge fund that pushed the company in November to find an acquirer that could help it improve profit margins.

Shares in Kate Spade climbed as much as 6.9pc last week to $20.07 in the wake of the reports, marking the biggest intraday gain since late December. The stock had advanced less than 1pc this year before the rally.

Emily Garbaccio, a spokeswoman for Kate Spade, said the company doesn't comment on industry rumours or speculation.

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