Moulton fund eyes Kiddicare purchase

Published on: 12th May 2014

The investment fund headed by Jon Moulton is among a number of bidders vying to win control of the Kiddicare retail chain.

Sky News is reporting that Better Capital, headed up my Mr Moulton, is one of the bidders through to the second round of an auction of the business, which is owned by the supermarket chain Wm Morrison. The sale has attracted the interest of a number of so-called turnaround specialists, understood to include Hilco, the owner of HMV, R Capital and Endless, whose investments include Crown paints. Amazon and Tesco are also said to have requested access to information about Kiddicare, although analysts have said that it is unlikely that either will make a formal offer.

Morrison’s, which has been hit by a prolonged slump in trading, is expected to have to pay a multi-million dowry to the acquirer of Kiddicare. In March, Morrison’s said that Kiddicare was “a business whose performance has been disappointing and which is no longer strategic”, adding that it had taken a £163m charge on the maternitywear specialist.

A sale could include all ten of the stores operating under the Kiddicare name, or could involve the closure of some of the sites prior to a deal being completed, insiders said. Morrison’s bought Kiddicare for £70m in 2011, arguing that the online business would aid its own transition to becoming a multi-channel retailer.

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