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
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Services - City, London

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions