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The Hut Group confirms plans for £4.5bn IPO - London's biggest this year

Around 1,000 brands used the company's Ingenuity platform to reach online consumers

The Hut Group - Lookfantastic
Lookfantastic.com is of the retailer's websites

The Hut Group Limited (THG) has confirmed its intention to float in London in what would be the largest initial public offer of the year. 

Planning to raise around £920mln from issuing new shares in the company, alongside a placing of existing shares from current shareholders, the online retailer is targeting a market valuation of around £4.5bn, as expected.

The health and beauty group, which has made 'cornerstone agreements' with institutional funds managed by BlackRock, Henderson Global Investors, Merian Global Investors and the Qatar Investment Authority to subscribe for £565mln of the shares, said it wants the new cash to support its growth plans based around increasing its “public profile and brand awareness”.

Leading the fundraising will be Citigroup, JP Morgan Cazenove, Barclays and Goldman Sachs, along with bookrunners HSBC, Jefferies and Numis Securities, while NM Rothschild is the company’s sole financial adviser.

In the previous calendar year, the company grew net revenue 24.5% to £1.1bn and produced  £111.3mln of underlying profit (EBITDA).

Co-founder Matthew Moulding, who is chief executive and chairman, said: “Our intention to float THG on the London Stock Exchange reflects the achievements of the past but also our strong belief in the significant potential for THG in the future.”

He added: “The brands 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.”

THG's own brands include Myprotein and Lookfantastic, with websites including Espaskincare, Skinstore and Mankind, while it also owns a consumer and luxury products business and three hotels: Hale Country Club, King Street Townhouse Hotel and the Great John Street Hotel.

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