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THG shares under pressure after suitors walk away

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Cult Beauty has been bought by The Hut Group for £275 million (CultBeauty/PA)
Cult Beauty has been bought by The Hut Group for £275 million (CultBeauty/PA)

Shares in online retailer THG have slumped after a pair of suitors walked away from bidding for the embattled firm.

Shares in THG, previously known as The Hut Group, tumbled by 13% on Thursday morning after Belerion Capital Group said it no longer planned to make an offer.

Hours later, the company’s stock slid even further after British property developer Nick Candy confirmed that he will also not be making a bid.

THG, which owns brands including MyProtein and Cult Beauty, revealed last month that it had rejected a £2.1 billion approach from a consortium led by Belerion and King Street Capital Management.

All recent approaches for THG have been unsolicited and, in the unanimous opinion of the board, were unacceptable and significantly undervalued the company

THG

THG said separately on Thursday that it had rejected all recent approaches as they “significantly undervalued” the firm and had not opened its books to any of the suitors.

It said: “All recent approaches for THG have been unsolicited and, in the unanimous opinion of the board, were unacceptable and significantly undervalued the company.

“After consulting with THG’s major shareholders and taking advice from the company’s advisers, the board has not considered it appropriate to provide due diligence access to any of these parties.”

The group added that it is “clearly aware” of wider economic challenges, but insisted it continues to trade well and in line with its expectations.

However, these expectations were cut in April, when it said it expected underlying profits for the current year to be in line with 2021, representing a downgrade from analyst expectations due to soaring inflation.

Potential bidders for the group have until 4pm on Thursday to make a formal offer for THG or walk away under UK Takeover Panel rules.

THG has faced speculation that it could be taken private after seeing a dive in its value following its 2020 stock market float.

Last year, the Manchester-based company saw more than £2 billion knocked off its stock market value after it faced criticism over its governance structure and future prospects.

In March, it hired former ITV boss Charles Allen as its non-executive chairman as part of efforts to improve its corporate governance.

Founder and boss Matthew Moulding had previously held the dual roles of chairman and chief executive.

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