The Hut Group announces improved banking facilities totalling £795m

Matthew Moulding

Manchester-based online retail specialist The Hut Group (THG) has unveiled improved group banking facilities of nearly £800m.

The enlarged facility will enable the group to continue its international expansion programmes, particularly US and European-focused, alongside its UK investments.

Five banks within THG’s banking syndicate have agreed to provide a further £195m facility, in addition to the recently announced £600m revolving credit facility provided by THG’s wider banking syndicate.

This now provides THG with available banking facilities beyond $1bn (£795m) for the first time.

The additional £195m facility provides further funds for mergers and acquisitions in its Beauty & Wellbeing categories and is provided by Barclays, HSBC, Santander, Citibank and JP Morgan.

THG has grown rapidly in recent years and, in the year to 31 December 2017, reported year-on-year group sales growth of 47% (to £736m), with international sales growing 62% (to £512m).

The group continues to invest in its own brand proposition, particularly its ever-growing Beauty portfolio, which is powered by THG Ingenuity, its proprietary e-commerce technology platform.

The platform, which generates global consumer demand insights, continues to grow in 2018 and now trades on over 166 localised websites across 46 languages and 42 currencies.

Matthew Moulding, founder and chief executive of The Hut Group, said: “We are delighted with the continued backing from our lenders whose participation in this new facility demonstrates their belief in our plans for future growth and strong acquisition strategy.

“The world of beauty and wellbeing is being transformed globally by a digital channel shift and the explosion in high growth, small to medium-sized independent brands.

This $1bn facility gives us significant firepower and makes us a serious player in building out our portfolio of Beauty and Wellbeing brands.

“We are uniquely well-placed to become the global digital leader across such an exciting sector.”

Sam Norton, Citibank managing director, said: “This latest banking facility is a clear indication of lenders’ continued strong support for The Hut Group and its management team.

“Developing the capital structure this way strengthens the foundations of the company and will further help the team deliver its exciting growth story.”

Andrew Mulliner, Santander relationship director – large corporates, said: “Santander is delighted to provide additional support to The Hut Group in the next phase of its exciting journey and we look forward to working with them in partnership along the way.”

The following banking teams executed the transaction: Barclays (Na Wei, Martin Souter, Glenn Clarke, Jenna Franzosi & Filippo Crosara); HSBC (Steve Estill, Will Rix & Jake Taylor); Santander (Matthew Thomas & Andrew Mulliner); Citibank (Sam Norton, Ula Malczewska & Ryan Ladwa) and JP Morgan (Matt Gehl, Julian Rowe & Christos Kolimenakis)

The Hut Group was advised by Martin O’Shea and Elizabeth Wareing from Addleshaw Goddard.

Matt Morgan of Pinsent Masons advised the syndicate, assisted by Becca Labib.

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