The Hut starts buying spree ahead of next year's flotation

Online retailer The Hut Group is targeting a potential flotation in the spring after completing the latest in a series of acquisitions last week.

The company, which has raised nearly £33m from investors this year, is believed to be eyeing further acquisitions and is considering launching an IPO as early as April.

The Hut acquired Mankind Direct – the web retailer of men's beauty products – last week for £2.5m, in an effort to capture a larger slice of the burgeoning male grooming market.

Clearwater Corporate Finance advised Mankind Direct on the sale of the business. The acquisition came after The Hut's much bigger purchase of Lookfantastic – the online retailer of health and beauty products that also has hairdressing salons inthe South-east – for £19.4m on9 November.

The two acquisitions made The Hut by far the UK's largest online retailer in both women's and men's health and beauty.

Back in November, The Hut said the Lookfantastic acquisition was funded through a "substantially over-subscribed" £18.5m institutional fundraising from existing shareholders, including Balderton Capital, Artemis, William Currie Group and Angus Monro, the former chief executive of the fashion retailer Matalan.

This followed the £14m raised by The Hut in April from the same group of investors through £10m of new equity and a placing of £4m of new shares. At that time, Matthew Moulding, the co-founder and chief executive of The Hut, said: "We are delighted to have completed such a unique fundraising where we have asked major financial institutions to step outside of the norm of publicly-listed companies and invest in a private company in advance of a flotation."

In addition to the transactional websites it owns, including Zavvi, Washbag and Iwantoneofthose, The Hut also provides an online technology platform for retail heavyweights, such as Tesco, Asda and WHSmith. The Hut increased earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) by more than 100 per cent in the six months to 30 June 2010.

For the year to 31 December 2009, The Hut Group's Ebitda grew by 142 per cent to £1.46m, on sales up by 140 per cent to £52.29m.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Are you looking to take your ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Exciting career prospect for ...

Recruitment Genius: Content Writer - Global Financial Services

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Day In a Page

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935