The long-vaunted flotation of The Hut Group (THG) could raise £500-900mln for the online retailer and bag a payday of up to £700mln for one of its founders.
Confirmation of the initial public offer is expected with the publication of a prospectus on Thursday.
Stories about the Manchester-based e-tailer’s potential IPO have been building up steam of late, though a London listing has been mooted since 2010.
THG, which employs more than 7,000 people and owns brands including Coggles, AllSole, MyBag, Christophe Robin and Eyeko, has appointed investment banks Barclays, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Jefferies and Numis to work on a listing, with an expected valuation for the company’s of at least £4bn.
Co-founder Matthew Moulding would, as part of the IPO, be given an incentivaisation scheme where he could earn more than £700mln of shares, as well as having a ‘founder share’ that would enable him to veto any hostile takeover bid for a certain period, according to Sky News.
Moulding, who along with fellow founder John Gallemore founded THG in 2004, helped oversee 24% sales growth last year to £1.1bn, with underlying profits (EBITDA) of £114mln.
Investors include private equity group KKR, which spent £100mln on a 19% stake in 2014, Blackrock, Balderton Capital, the Lewis family of River Island fame, and former Matalan boss Angus Monro.