THG buys online retailer Cult Beauty in $381m deal
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THG buys online retailer Cult Beauty in $381m deal

05 Aug 2021 (Last Updated August 5th, 2021 16:17)

THG expects to increase its sales for the next full year by £140m due to the takeover, adding profits of almost £10m.

THG buys online retailer Cult Beauty in $381m deal
THG’s flagship distribution centre in Warrington, Cheshire. Credit: 50Stripes / Wikimedia Commons.

British e-commerce retailer The Hut Group (THG) has agreed to buy Cult Beauty, an online retailer focused on prestige beauty brands, for £275m ($381m) on a cash and debt-free basis.

THG bought the company from private shareholders, including majority investor Mark Quinn-Newall, who is also the co-founder of Net-a-Porter, and co-CEO Alexia Inge.

The company said that Cult Beauty would retain a ‘very clear identity’ within the THG Beauty portfolio.

According to THG, the acquisition is expected to add almost 200 brands and 1.7 million customers to THG Beauty.

THG expects to increase its sales for the next full year by £140m as a result of the takeover, adding profits of almost £10m.

Founded in 2008 by Alexia Inge and Jessica Deluca, Cult Beauty sells around 300 brands across the skincare, haircare and cosmetics sectors, including Charlotte Tilbury, Living Proof and Molton Brown.

The company currently employs almost 300 people.

THG executive chairman and CEO Matthew Moulding said: “Cult Beauty’s first-to-market reputation makes the brand an exciting fit for our THG Beauty division.

“When retailing brands to consumers, THG Beauty will run with two unique fascias within our main continents.

“THG will principally service customers within North America via our Dermstore and Lookfantastic brands, while in the UK, Europe, Asia and the rest of the world, the key brands will be Lookfantastic and Cult Beauty.

“We anticipate fully migrating Cult Beauty onto the THG Ingenuity platform by the end of the year, within the first six months of acquisition, giving the brand access to the global digital features to underpin significant future growth.”

The acquisition comes a few months after THG secured a $1.6bn investment from SB Management, a division of SoftBank.

Last December, THG agreed to acquire Dermstore.com, a US-based pure-play online retailer of prestige skincare and speciality beauty brands, from Target for $350m in cash.