Online retail company The Hut Group has announced plans to list on London’s stock exchange in one of the year’s biggest IPOs.
The Hut Group, which owns a number of online retailers, said in a stock market filing on Thursday it hopes to raise £920m ($1.2bn) selling new shares as it goes public. The company is aiming for a valuation of £4.5bn when shares list on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.
Founded in 2004 in Manchester, The Hut Group is an online-only retail conglomerate that makes the bulk of its money through beauty and fitness. The company owns Europe’s number one online beauty retailer Lookfantastic, as well as Skinstore and Mankind. In fitness, The Hut Group sells workout supplements under the Myprotein brand.
The company’s websites were visited 610 million times in 2019. Sales across the group grew 24.5% last year to £1.1bn and adjusted earnings rose 9.8% to £111.3m. The company said the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated growth, with sales up 35.8% in the first six months of 2020.
The Hut Group also rents its own in-house e-commerce software to other brands such as Elemis and Burt’s Bees. The company said in June it had signed £100m-worth of deals with third party beauty brands.
“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,” said Matthew Moulding, The Hut Group’s founder, chief executive and chairman.
“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 e-commerce solution.”
Sky News reported this week that Moulding, who owns a £1bn stake in the business, is in line for a significant payout of up to £700m if he can grow The Hut Group to a £7.25bn business by 2022.
The initial public offering, due to take place next month, will be one of the biggest listings of 2020.