The Hut Group plots £4.5bn IPO on London Stock Exchange

The Lookfantasic and ESPA owner intends to raise £920m from the sale of shares and will free float 20% of its issued share capital

The Hut Group acquired ESPA for £100m in 2017

UK beauty conglomerate The Hut Group (THG) has revealed plans to float on the London Stock Exchange with a £4.5bn equity value.

According to information shared with Cosmetics Business, the initial public offering (IPO) proposes to offer new shares worth £920m, while existing shares will be extended to some current stakeholders.

Following admission, THG intends to have a free float of 20% of its issued share capital.

If the Lookfantastic and ESPA owner goes ahead with the move, it will be the biggest IPO the city has registered this year.

Directors said the offer would support THG’s growth plans, and increase its public profile and brand awareness.

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

“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.”

Rumours circulate

Rumours began to circulate that the Manchester-based firm could be considering an IPO in July, when it was also said to be in talks with investors to explore a private sale.

Speaking to Cosmetics Business at the time, a spokesperson for the beauty conglomerate said: “Each year THG speaks to major global investors about future investment options to support global growth plans.

“This has always been done as a private company, and this year is no different.”

THG’s business operates across four sectors: THG Ingenuity, a proprietary tech platform; THG Beauty, with a 7-strong brand portfolio; THG Nutrition, a direct-to-consumer brand and manufacturer of nutrition products; and THG’s Lifestyle and Experience businesses.

“The brand 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,” added Moulding.

“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.”

He also noted that THG achieved revenue growth of 24.5% in 2019.

THG has hired Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Cazenove, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Numis as joint bookrunners if the offer is accepted by the Financial Conduct Authority, while Rothschild & Co is acting as the sole financial advisor.

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