The Hut Group, which brings cosmetics and wellness brands online, will take over the British cosmetics webshop Cult Beauty for 275 million pounds (320 million euros). As a result, The Hut is not only gaining many brands but also global retail reach.
Largest British IPO
The name ‘The Hut Group’ may not ring a bell, but the cosmetics platform is anything but small. When investor Sofina – owned by the Boël family – took THG public last year, it immediately became the biggest British tech IPO in history.
The company manages more than 100 websites in over 160 countries, mainly for its own beauty brands. THG and its technology platform operate everything from merchandising and logistics to content creation. Worldwide, they have 14 of their own fulfilment centres, seven content studios and an in-house team for product development and production.
1.6 million followers
Cult Beauty will soon be joining the technology platform. “Cult Beauty is often the partner of choice for emerging indie brands because of its personalised, content-driven approach and its enthusiastic consumer base that is constantly looking for new, innovative solutions to complement their beauty routine”, THG’s CEO Matthew Moulding said about the acquisition.
Cult Beauty will be able to preserve its own identity after the takeover. For THG, the great strengths of Cult Beauty are precisely its strong links with independent beauty labels on the one hand and with international consumers on the other. The British online retailer has 1.6 million Instagram followers and over 300 brands in its range, two-thirds of which cannot yet be found on The Hut’s marketplaces.
However, the acquirer intends to offer Cult Beauty’s brand partners access to THG’s subscription-based beauty boxes, digital marketing services and manufacturing expertise, according to industry magazine WWD. The geographical reach of both companies is also expanding: both Cult Beauty and THG subsidiary Lookfantastic can now supply Asia, Europe and the UK. With Lookfantastic, the group is also targeting North America.