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The Hut Group acquires Cult Beauty for 275 million pounds

By Huw Hughes

Aug. 4, 2021

Business

Image: THG CEO and chairman Matthew Moulding

British fashion, beauty and wellbeing giant The Hut Group (THG) has acquired UK-based pure-play online beauty retailer Cult Beauty for 275 million pounds.

THG said the move will be “highly complementary” to its existing portfolio, and added that Cult Beauty would retain “a very clear identity”.

Founded in 2007 by Alexia Inge and Jessica Deluca, Cult Beauty sells around 300 third party brands across skincare, haircare and cosmetics, including Charlotte Tilbury, Drunk Elephant and Huda Beauty.

Around two-thirds of those brands are not currently listed on existing THG Beauty sites, so the deal means THG will have an additional 200 new brands, as well as 1.7 million new customers and 1.6 million additional Instagram followers.

THG said Cult Beauty is expected to contribute sales of around 60 million pounds to its current full-year results.

Another acquisition for fast-growing THG

This is the latest in a string of acquisitions by Manchester-based THG, which has found itself well-positioned in recent years amid consumers’ continued shift to online channels.

In May, the company announced a deal with SB Management, a subsidiary of Japanese investment giant SoftBank, that provided it with a further 1 billion dollars in funding to help it snap up more firms.

THG was founded in 2004 and today owns a portfolio of companies including online beauty destination Lookfantastic.com and fashion brands MyBag, Coggles and All Sole. Last year it made its debut on the London Stock Exchange.

Matthew Moulding, executive chairman and CEO of THG, said Cult Beauty’s “first-to-market reputation” makes the company “an exciting fit for our THG Beauty division”.

He said he expects Cult Beauty to be fully migrated onto the THG Ingenuity platform - THG’s yet-to-be-formed tech platform division - by the end of 2021.