Shares of THG plc, the Manchester e-commerce, beauty and nutrition firm, rose about 13% after SB Northstar LP, a trading arm of Japan’s Softbank, agreed to sell its entire stake in THG at 39p a share to existing THG shareholder Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and THG CEO Matthew Moulding.
SB Northstar LP agreed to sell 67.8 million shares to QIA and 12.8 million shares to Moulding.
The move saw Softbank finally end speculation about its disastrous investment in THG, writing off as much as £450 million of a stake that was once valued at about £500 million.
THG went public at £5 a share in September 2020 and the stock rose to around £8.
However, THG shares have since fallen more than 90% to around 50p — slashing the firm’s stock market value to roughly £660 million — following a disastrous presentation to investors last October and concerns over the company’s structure, transparency and governance.
“QIA is an existing shareholder, having cornerstoned THG’s initial public offering in September 2020, with deep expertise in retail, consumer and technology and a focus on growth opportunities which have a positive impact,” said THG.
“This acquisition by FIC Shareco on behalf of Matthew Moulding further evidences his commitment to the group and its strategy, and is his fourth investment in THG since IPO, with over £38m invested in August 2021, July 2022 and October 2022.
“This purchase will take his direct and indirect holding to a total of 320,934,183 shares in THG, comprised of 198,744,095 ordinary voting shares and 122,190,088 unlisted ordinary shares, in each case of £0.005 in the capital of THG. “
Moulding said: “I’m delighted to be further increasing my family’s stake in THG, continuing our unswerving support following on from other recent share purchases.
“QIA shares the board’s vision of the scale of opportunity for THG, building a British global success story in large and growing addressable markets. QIA’s long-term investment approach is a positive endorsement for the UK as a whole.
“I’m incredibly proud of the progress the team continue to make in each of our major divisions, and believe the uncertain macro-conditions provide an even greater opportunity for THG to further disrupt global Beauty, Nutrition and Technology markets.
“We at THG extend our thanks to Softbank for their support as a financial and commercial partner, and we will continue to benefit from the relationships formed across their international technology portfolio.”