The British online health and beauty retailer The Hut Group has reinforced its global expansion ambitions by striking a £515m debt deal that provides additional firepower for takeovers.
Sky News understands that The Hut Group, which has bought a string of brands such as ESPA, the skincare and spa business, has signed an agreement to increase its borrowing capacity from £345m to more than £500m.
The syndicate of banks, which includes existing lenders such as Barclays, HSBC and Silicon Valley Bank, is being extended to include Citibank, JP Morgan and Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), a giant Canadian investor.
Insiders said the new facility would be used to fuel further acquisitions in the beauty and wellbeing categories, and further development of its e-commerce infrastructure.
Matthew Moulding, The Hut Group’s founder and chief executive, said: “This year has seen a real acceleration in investment for THG, especially across beauty, infrastructure, technology and talent.
“This substantial new credit facility is another important step for the group and provides us with even more firepower to pursue our ambitions for further significant international growth.”
News of the expanded banking facilities, which will further The Hut Group’s claim to being one of the UK’s fastest-growing technology companies, comes weeks after it finalised a £125m equity injection from Old Mutual Global Investors.
That deal valued The Hut Group at £2.5bn.
Since then, the company has also acquired Glossybox, a subscription-based beauty service.
Its latest flurry of takeovers added to a portfolio which includes Mio Skincare, Grow Gorgeous and Lookfantastic.com.
Headquartered in Cheshire, The Hut Group was set up in 2004 by Mr Moulding and John Gallemore.
It now employs more than 3,000 people and has said that it expects that figure to double by 2019.
The Hut Group, which Mr Moulding runs as chief executive, is on track to record sales this year of up to £750m – a 50% increase on 2016’s figure.
Last year, it also recorded a 67% rise in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to £50m.
Other shareholders in the company include Blackrock, the world’s biggest asset manager, ?the private equity giant KKR and Sofina, a Belgian investor.
Source: Sky News