THG Walks Away From Acquisition Talks With Apollo Global

Online beauty retailer THG, formerly known as The Hut Group, has walked away from acquisition talks with private equity firm Apollo Global Management Inc., the company said in a statement Friday.

Shares of THG plunged 16.49 percent to 62.42 pence after the announcement was made.

More from WWD

Last month THG revealed that Apollo Global had made a preliminary bid. THG at the time described Apollo’s bid to acquire the entire issued share capital of the retailer as “highly preliminary” and nonbinding.

Apollo had until Monday under U.K. takeover rules to make a firm offer or walk away, but THG Friday said that there was “no longer any merit” to further discussions with the private equity firm as its buyout proposal was based on “inadequate valuations.”

“Consideration and rejection of the indicative proposal has been on a basis consistent with all previous offers for the company, some a matter of public record, which were also rejected based upon inadequate valuations and the nature of those offer structures,” the Manchester, England-based company added.

It’s not the first time THG has turned down a takeover proposal. Last year, the company rejected several of them. THG founder and chief executive officer Matt Moulding said those have all been “unacceptable” and had failed “to reflect the fair value of the group.”

THG has struggled on many levels since it listed on the London Stock Exchange in September 2020, and shares in the company have lost 85 percent of their value since the IPO.

THG owns online retailers including Cult Beauty and Lookfantastic, and brands such as Perricone MD and Espa.

In 2022, group revenue rose 2.7 percent to 2.24 billion pounds. Losses for the financial year widened to 540 million pounds from 138 million pounds.

THG said losses increased for a variety of reasons, including its efforts to limit customers’ exposure to commodity cost increases, and its 275.4 million pound write-down of the software it uses to operate third-party websites.

It also listed a series of non-recurring costs in the period, including 32.4 million pounds spent on a strategic review; 18.5 million pounds on international deliveries, predominantly in Asia, and mainly linked to COVID-19 restrictions, and 14.8 million pounds in administrative costs following a company reorganization and related layoffs.

Best of WWD

Click here to read the full article.