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The Hut Group plans listing in boost to London IPO market


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) is shown around by The Hut Group founder and CEO Matthew Moulding (R) during a visit to a fulfillment center in Warrington, in north-west England on December 10, 2019.

BEN STANSALL | POOL | AFP via Getty Images

E-commerce retailer The Hut Group Ltd said on Thursday it was planning an initial public offering in London, planning to raise at least 920 million pounds ($1.21 billion), as it looks to tap pandemic-accelerated investor appetite for the sector.

In potentially the first major IPO in London since the COVID-19 crisis started, the company plans to list at least 20% of its stock, using a fixed offer price that would give it a pre-listing valuation of around 4.5 billion pounds.

“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,” THG Chief Executive and co-founder Matthew Moulding said.

THG, which sells a range of products including the latest Levi’s collection, books and Lego through its websites, has benefited from a major pick-up in online shopping as people stayed away from physical shops during lockdowns.

The global health crisis largely halted new stock market listings earlier in the year when markets recorded sharp falls with investors shying away from risky assets as they assessed the virus’s economic impact. Since then the IPO market has picked up markedly in Asia and the United States, but had remained dormant in Europe.

THG, the owner of skincare and beauty lines, such as ESPA, Illamasqua and lookfantastic, said it has seen strong revenue and earnings in the first half of 2020 on the back of a spike in online demand. It booked revenue of 1.1 billion pounds in 2019, up 24.5% year-on-year.

THG targets overall revenue growth of 20-25% over the medium term.


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