THG bidders walk away from takeover race

By Becky Bargh 17-Jun-2022

Two potential suitors, Candy Ventures and Belerion Capital, confirmed they will not make offers for the online retail giant

THG took over British e-tailer Cult Beauty in 2021

Two bidders have walked away from the race to takeover e-commerce Goliath THG.

Shareholder Belerion Capital, together with King Street Capital Management, confirmed they would not make an offer for the business in a trading statement on 16 June.

Last month, THG rejected a £2.1bn buyout offer from the investment groups, which triggered a jump in share price.

Candy Ventures, the investment business of British property tycoon Nick Candy, also bowed out of the chase, but is not thought to have tabled an offer to THG.

THG’s statement, however, which was released on the same day, said that all recent approaches for a buyout had been “unsolicited” and that it was the unanimous opinion of the Board that the offers made were “unacceptable and significantly undervalued the company”.

“While THG is clearly aware of the macro-economic challenges, the company continues to perform well and in line with its own expectation,” added the Cult Beauty owner.

The Manchester-based group of Matthew Moulding has been blighted by setbacks and share price falls for the last 18 months.

In one day, the company managed to shave off 35% of its market value, following a disastrous capital markets day in October last year.

According to The Times, shares in Moulding’s technology company have slumped more than 80%, as reported in February 2022.

Meanwhile, Moulding’s net worth slipped down The Sunday Times Rich List back in May from £1.4bn to £700m, dropping 78 places to 230 on the list.

And THG’s leadership is also experiencing “detailed scrutiny”, according to Lord Charles Allen, the company’s Chairman, who replaced Moulding – the CEO – in March.

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He said in his annual report that THG’s Board composition will remain his “prime focus” to ensure a “suitably equipped” leadership team is at the helm.

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