Matt Moulding now stalking his stalker
THG founder Matthew Moulding has taken a stake in Kelso Group, the listed investment business which has been highly critical of his leadership of THG and believes the business to be massively undervalued.
In an act of corporate devilment of a scale usually seen played out by retailer Mike Ashley, Moulding now owns 3.2% of Kelso.
Since THG’s shares plummeted following the stock market float Moulding has been highly critical of a cabal of market players, including sections of the media and city institutions and hedge funds.
In a LinkedIn post last week Moulding discussed the demise of the London Stock Exchange, a sentiment shared with Kelso.
He pointed to 100 companies having left the London market with another 19 companies, each worth over £100m, confirming plans to exit, “with almost nobody planning to join” he said.
Kelso is effectively a cash shell backed by a number of high net worth individuals that was set up to stalk THG, and other undervalued listed businesses, and in October appointed Sarah Rajani, an experienced corporate raider, to its board.
Headed by former Zeus chief executive John Goold it has a small stake in Manchester-based ecommerce giant THG but has issued frequent bullish statements to investors claiming the company is undervalued and should be broken up.
In March 2023 Kelso upped its stake in THG and urged the board to go further with a series of actions to increase the value of the business, in particular the profile of its shares.
Following a visit to the Manchester and Warrington sites, Kelso has backed the board’s operational actions, but issued a four point plan to increase visibility and value in THG stock.
It also believes it should hive off MyProtein, its nutrition brand. “We believe that THG’s nutrition division with its main brand of MyProtein should be valued as a global consumer brand, given its near $1bn sales, double-digit EBITDA margins and increased product innovation in the current year.
“This division alone continues, in our view, to be worth more than the market capitalisation of THG,” it said.
Kelso was established in 2022 to identify, engage and unlock trapped value in the UK stock market and completed a fundraising of £3m in January 2023 from around 20 UK entrepreneurs.
According to a placement document investors in Kelso include entrepreneurs Luke Johnson, Nigel Wray and Umar Kamani. Its chairman is former DLA partner Sir Nigel Knowles, now the chief executive of listed law firm DWF.