Top THG shareholder joins revolt against re-election of chairman

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 11-Jun-2024

THG’s chairman, Charles Allen, was previously CEO of British TV broadcaster ITV from 2004 to 2007 and joined THG in 2022

THG's tenth largest shareholder is the latest investor revolting against the company’s chairman, Charles Allen.

Dutch investment firm OVMK Vermogensbeheer will vote against the re-election of Allen at an upcoming annual meeting on 24 June.

The firm joins THG’s activist shareholder Kelso, which has been building support for a vote against the chairman since January.

The American private equity firm expressed concerns over the group’s current business strategy and stock market value.

Kelso said it was “disappointed” with the brand owner’s current share price, which has plummeted by 90% since THG floated on the market in 2020.

This is despite THG’s strong sales performance in Q1 2024, driven by its beauty arm, which includes online retailer Lookfantastic and subscription service Glossybox.

Kelso, which has a 0.55% stake in the company, accused Allen of being responsible for the company’s lack of action on the matters.

"While major strategic and structural issues remain unaddressed, the poor share price cannot be blamed on the London Stock Exchange,” Kelso said in a statement.

In December 2023, Kelso reportedly contacted THG’s board, urging the company to separate its business divisions.

“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 private equity firm added.

Allen was previously CEO of British TV broadcaster ITV from 2004 to 2007.

The UK-based businessman has also held positions as a non-executive director for supermarket chain Tesco and chair of music group EMI.

In addition to his role at THG, Allen currently serves as chair for the Invictus Games and construction group Balfour Beatty.

The 67-year-old joined THG as chair in 2022, replacing CEO Matthew Moulding following criticism of the group’s leadership structure.

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