The Hut Group plans £4.5bn public listing

The Hut Group (THG) has today announced its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), and it is targeting a £4.5 billion valuation.

The Manchester-based online retail and technology business, which runs several beauty and fitness brands including Myprotein and Lookfantastic, said it was a suitable time to consider an initial public offering (IPO) because of the growing eCommerce market. Customer demand for wellness and beauty remains buoyant also places it in a strong position, it noted.

Matthew Moulding, founder, CEO & chairman of THG, said: "Our intention to float THG on the LSE reflects the achievements of the past but also our strong belief in the significant potential for THG in the future.

“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. The brands we own today give us leading strategic positions in prestige beauty and nutrition, powered by Ingenuity, our differentiated proprietary direct-to-consumer eCommerce solution.”

In 2019 THG reported year-on-year revenue growth of 24.5%, to reach £1.1 billion. Adjusted EBITDA was £111.3 million.

Its Ingenuity platform powers not just its own brands, but those of more than 1,000 other consumer brands around the world, including Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Walgreens Boots Alliance, and Coca Cola. Moulding said this helped create “a highly resilient, vertically integrated business with significant growth opportunities”.

In December 2019, THG completed a £1 billion funding round to support future growth, and has been in acquisition mode for several years, adding companies such as haircare brand Christophe Robin in recent years.

Earlier in 2020, the business announced plans to launch its own air cargo service, to help distribute products globally and take more control of its international fulfilment network. Dubbed ‘THG Air’, the service is expected to go live before the end of October, and will comprise THG-owned and branded cargo planes based at Manchester Airport.