THG urged to affirm break-up plans by activist shareholder Kelso

Published: 7-Dec-2023

Kelso Group has reportedly written to THG’s board, requesting the company’s proposals for a potential demerger of its three business divisions

Activist shareholder Kelso is urging retailer THG to confirm the break-up plans for its beauty empire.

The group has ramped up its campaign by allegedly writing to the company’s board.

It has requested a stock market statement which outlines THG’s proposals for a demerger of its three business divisions.

THG operates a beauty business, which contains online retailer Lookfantastic, subscription service Glossybox, cosmetics company Illamasqua and spa brand Espa, to name a few.

It also runs nutrition business and ecommerce services platform Ingenuity, which is the retail group’s tech arm. 

Kelso’s letter, as seen by The Times, said de-merging the divisions would help to address “the inherent disparity between THG’s share price and true value”. 

It added: “Kelso continues to believe strongly that the three distinct businesses within THG are worth considerably more as separate businesses than the current market capitalisation. 

“The stock market does not value diversified conglomerates, which THG is deemed to be. 

“We do not propose to suggest the order of events, merely that it is made clear to shareholders that all options are being considered.

“Such an announcement would, in our view, help to close the valuation gap and so enhance the ability to achieve the true value in any of the demerger options.”

THG has not confirmed if it will split up the divisions into separate entities.

The beauty retailer’s founder Matthew Moulding acquired a 3.2% stake in Kelso last week after the group initially called for a break-up of its listed beauty empire.

Moulding made an investment of around £300,000, which made him Kelso’s third-largest shareholder.

Kelso holds eight million shares in THG after first investing in the company’s stock in January 2023. 

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