// The Hut Group was lent £151m by Warrington Council
// The money is secured against assets including various commercial properties
A local council has lent The Hut Group’s billionaire boss over £150 million after a string of property transactions ahead of the stock market flotation.
Warrington Council made available £151 million of a £202 million loan facility to an investment company called Icon 3 Holdco, which is indirectly controlled by THG chief executive Matthew Moulding.
Property transactions were completed before the company’s £5 billion stock market listing last September.
The money, which was arranged by property firm CBRE, was lent to THG in late October last year.
It is secured against assets including various commercial properties. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Many of THG’s freehold property assets have been transferred to companies controlled by Moulding through Guernsey-domiciled Moulding Capital Ltd (MCL).
These companies now let the properties back to THG for annual rent of about £19 million.
A large distribution warehouse in Warrington, known as Omega, was among those transferred to MCL before THG’s float.
The council defended the loan saying it was “not a new venture for Warrington and is a practice that has been evidenced as being well established for some time in local government across the UK”.