// The Hut Group CEO Matthew Moulding now a billionaire after shares surge
// The retailer’s London Stock Exchange debut on Wednesday became the UK’s biggest float since 2017
The Hut Group has seen its shares rise by almost a third following its London Stock Exchange debut on Wednesday.
The Manchester-based online health and beauty retailer runs websites that sell nutrition and beauty products under brands like Myprotein and Glossybox.
Founder Matthew Moulding, who is both chief executive and chairman of the newly-listed firm named THG Holdings, become a billionaire after shares surged by almost a third, raising £1.9 billion and making it the UK’s biggest stock market float since 2017.
- The Hut Group begins trading on London Stock Exchange
- The Hut Group founder Matthew Moulding to sell £54m worth of shares
Moulding has retained a 25.1 per cent stake and is due to receive a further £700 million in what would be one of the UK’s biggest corporate paydays.
This is if the retailer’s average market cap stays above £7.25 billion for more than 15 days between now and December 2022.
Shares opened at 600p, 20 per cent higher than its issue price of 500p and went as high as 658.3p before closing up 22 per cent at 609p, giving the company a market capitalisation of £6.5 billion.
Investors snapped up all the shares on offer less than an hour after it began taking orders.
THG Holdings sold £920 million of new shares to investors, with a further £961 million sold by existing shareholders including former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy.
However, the firm will not qualify for the FTSE 100, having retained a “dual-class” stock structure similar to US tech groups.
Moulding has the power to veto any attempted hostile takeover for the next three years, which means it cannot qualify for listing on the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange.
During the first six months of 2020, the retailer saw a “strong growth” in revenues, which grew by 35.8 per cent year on year to £676 million despite the impact of Covid-19.
“I am delighted that THG has received such strong support from some of the world’s largest investors, which means we have been able to achieve a highly successful offer of shares in the company,” Moulding said.
“The results of the offer are a clear validation of our business model, significant growth prospects, and recognition of the hard work and talent of all our colleagues.”