The Hut Group completes in excess of £1bn capital raising through new and existing debt and equity investors
The total capital raising comprised:
- Significantly oversubscribed €600m Term Loan B (TLB) debt issuance which received €150m of excess demand in only three weeks of marketing;
- A new five-year £150m revolving credit facility provided by Barclays, HSBC, Santander, Citi, NatWest and JP Morgan;
- New £200m secured debt & development facilities provided by Citi and CBRE Investment Advisory to THG’s newly created, wholly owned subsidiary Propco holding company. The Propco comprises THG’s property assets totalling 1.5m sq. ft. of freehold offices, distribution and manufacturing centres and the “THG Events” division properties (King Street Town House, Great John Street Hotel and Hale Country Club), this will also facilitate development of THG’s 1m sq. ft. HQ office campus; and
- £66m of primary equity raised from global investment manager, BlackRock, and Belgium-based investment company, Sofina.
The substantial capital raising enables THG to drive greater investment in its leading Beauty & Wellness brands and Ingenuity, its propriety, end-to-end ecommerce solution. Ingenuity powers THG’s brands and provides global consumer groups solutions across hosting (29 data centres), content creation (six studios), translation (Language Connect), payment options (50+), courier options (100+), affiliate marketing networks, brand events (hotels & country club), manufacturing and distribution centres (x12 globally, 2+ million sq. ft.).
The capital will also be used to invest in, and enhance its freehold properties within its THG Events division, as well as ICON & THQ, the Group’s two landmark developments at Manchester Airport creating best-in-class content studios (270 sq. ft.) and offices (300 sq. ft.).
THG has grown sales from £80m (2010) to well in excess of £1 billion (2019), with two-thirds of revenues generated internationally across Europe, Asia and the US. THG has rapidly grown profitability to industry leading levels through its vertically integrated, technology-first consumer brand portfolio and technology services model.
As part of the debt process THG secured a public debt rating of B1.
Matthew Moulding, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of THG, said: “The expanded capital raising is a landmark achievement and provides an exceptional growth and investment platform for the business. The significant excess demand and new debt rating, and during the time of the general election, demonstrate the strength of THG’s business model and proposition and is further testament to the global model we’ve built. Our business continues to evolve with the demands of consumers, as we continue to invest across the Group to develop our people, infrastructure and particularly our proprietary ecommerce solution, Ingenuity”.
Ahmed Yeganeh, Managing Director for Large Corporate Banking, North Region, HSBC UK plc, said: “We have worked with THG for many years, supporting the business’s growth, investments in global infrastructure and acquisitions. We were delighted to act as Joint Global Coordinator in their first successful step into the institutional capital financing market and are looking forward tp supporting their plans for the future.”
Na Wei, Managing Director, Barclays European Leverage Finance, said: “we were extremely impressed with the high level of market engagement and investor appetite for THG’s inaugural EUR600m capital market term loan issuance. This hugely successful benchmark transaction has cemented the Company’s future access to the capital market as it continues to grow and deliver its ambitious growth strategy.”
Sam Norton, Managing Director, Citi, said: “Unsurprisingly, THG has done it again – the success and significance of this 7-year maiden TLB issuance will be remembered as an inflection point in the Group’s history. It is yet another ringing endorsement of both the near term momentum and long term outlook of this uniquely positioned, global business and its best in class management team. Their leading equity story is now supported by a long term capital structure, fully aligned financing partners, and a fully funded property strategy.”
William Abecassis, Head of Innovation Capital at BlackRock, said: “We are thrilled to be growing our investment in the Hut Group, a company that is at the forefront of retail digitalization. Their Ingenuity platform offers a uniquely credible end-to-end solutions for global CPG brands seeking to transition to a digitally native footprint.”
Citi, Barclays and HSBC acted as Mandated Lead Arrangers and Joint Global Coordinators with Santander, JP Morgan and National Westminster Bank as Mandated Lead Arrangers and Bookrunners on the financing.
THG was advised by Clifford Chance, Gibson Dunn, Gowling, EY Parthenon, Deloitte and Eastdil Secured.
The Hut Group (THG) is an international technology company, focused on beauty and wellbeing retail. Founded in 2004 by CEO Matthew Moulding, Manchester-based THG now operates 178 localised websites, retailing goods in 169 countries. In the year to 31 December 2018, the Group grew sales by 24% to £916m, with 66% of sales generated internationally. More than half of THG’s sales come from its own brand products.
Pioneering Technology Platform
THG is a British technology success story. Its in-house team design, develop and build bespoke proprietary technology that is used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
Its unique platform, THG Ingenuity, helps the Group dispatch 68 million items to customers across the world, and saw THG reach the top of the Sunday Times profit track for two consecutive years. The platform was recognised as E-tailer of the Year in 2016 by Retail Week.
The Hut Group is the #1 place for ambitious young talent. By the end of 2018, THG employed over 5,000 people, approximately double the number employed at the end of 2016. THG created more than 1,000 jobs in 2018 and the THG Academy continues working to build the next generation of business leaders.