Hut Group reveals IPO plan that values firm at £4.5bn

The Hut Group CEO Matthew Moulding

Manchester-based consumer brand and e-commerce giant The Hut Group (THG) said on Thursday it is planning an initial public offering on the main market of the London Stock Exchange to raise at least £920 million.

THG said it plans to list at least 20% of its stock using a fixed offer price that would give it a pre-listing valuation of around £4.5 billion.

The Hut Group said that should it proceed with an IPO, the offer would be comprised of new shares to be issued by the company, raising gross proceeds of £920 million — plus an offer of existing shares to be sold by certain existing shareholders.

THG’s shareholders include CEO and founder Matthew Moulding and other executives plus institutional shareholders that include KKR, BlackRock, Old Mutual, Sofina, Balderton Capital and Merian Chrysalis Investments.

THG runs websites including myprotein.com and Coggles.com that sell beauty and nutrition products.

“Our intention to float THG on the London Stock Exchange reflects the achievements of the past but also our strong belief in the significant potential for THG in the future,” said Moulding.

“THG has enjoyed strong growth since being founded in 2004, employing more than 7,000 people and establishing a track record of consistent delivery for our customers.

“The brands we own today give us leading strategic positions in prestige beauty and nutrition, powered by Ingenuity, our differentiated proprietary direct-to-consumer e-commerce solution.

“Ingenuity powers not just our brands but those of many other leading consumer brand owners around the world creating a highly resilient, vertically integrated business with significant growth opportunities.”

THG said that for the year ended December 31, 2019, its revenue rose 24.5% to £1.1 billion and its adjusted EBITDA was £111.3 million.

For the six months to June 30, 2020, THG said its revenue rose 35.8% to £676 million.

“Immediately following admission, the company intends to have a free float of at least 20 per cent. of the company’s issued share capital and a fixed offer price equating to £4.5 billion pre-money equity value,” said THG.

“THG has engaged Citigroup Global Markets Limited, J.P. Morgan Securities plc (which conducts its UK investment banking activities as J.P. Morgan Cazenove), Barclays Bank PLC and Goldman Sachs International as Joint Global Co-ordinators, and HSBC Bank plc, Jefferies International Limited and Numis Securities Limited as Joint Bookrunners, in the event the offer proceeds.

“N.M. Rothschild & Sons Limited is acting as the sole financial adviser to the company.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.