Manchester’s Hut Group confirms £4.5bn IPO

The Hut Group CEO Matthew Moulding

Manchester-based consumer brand and e-commerce giant The Hut Group (THG) on Thursday confirmed its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange.

The Hut Group, which employs more than 7,000 people, runs websites including lookfantastic.com, myprotein.com, espaskincare.com and coggles.com that sell beauty and nutrition products.

The £920 million IPO would value the firm at £4.5 billion and see The Hut Group list at least 20% of its stock and also sell some existing shares. 

THG’s current 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.

Other backers of THG have included former Tesco chief executive Terry Leahy, former Matalan boss Angus Monro and Scottish entrepreneur Tom Hunter.

“The offer will be comprised of new shares to be issued by the company … and an offer of existing shares to be sold by certain existing shareholders,” said THG.

“The directors believe that the offer will further support THG’s growth plans by increasing THG’s public profile and brand awareness as well as providing a base of long term shareholders whilst also providing potential liquidity opportunities for shareholders.

“Funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Henderson Global Investors Limited, funds managed by Merian Global Investors (UK) Limited and Qatar Investment Authority, have each entered into cornerstone agreements with the company to subscribe for, subject to certain conditions, in aggregate, £565 million of shares at the offer price, acting as cornerstone investors, consisting of a commitment of £300 million from BlackRock, £100 million from Janus Henderson, £90 million from Merian and £75 million from QIA.”

For the year ended December 31, 2019, THG’s 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’s revenue rose 35.8% to £676 million.

CitiGroup, JP Morgan, Barclays and Goldman Sachs are acting as joint global co-ordinators, while HSBC, Jefferies and Numis are joint bookrunners. NM Rothschild & Sons is 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.