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THG times IPO to perfection with equity sell-off

As the second wave of the coronavirus hits, The Hut Group may win from new lockdowns after completing the biggest UK IPO in five years and largest ever for a tech company.


Markets are moving quickly once again.

On Wednesday September 16, The Hut Group (THG), an online seller of beauty and nutrition products that also helps other companies sell fast-moving consumer goods direct to consumers, completed the biggest UK IPO for five years.

It raised close to £1.9 billion in a sale of primary shares to fund the company’s growth as well as secondary shares from early private equity backers, including KKR, looking to realise gains.

It is the largest technology company IPO ever in the UK and it attracted US technology investors more used to dealing on Nasdaq than on the standard segment of the London Stock Exchange.

“US tech investors will look for good stories around the globe and become agnostic as to venue,” Matt Gehl, co-head of Emea tech investment banking at JPMorgan, tells Euromoney. “US funds were willing to look quite far forward to capture the full opportunity for the company in their valuation and not rely only on ebitda or P/E multiples.”

This is the type of analysis late-stage venture capital investors typically apply to growth equity stories.

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