THG, formerly The Hut Group, has been expanding at lightning speed over the past few years. The company launched a record-breaking IPO (initial public offering) on the London Stock Exchange last September which raised US$2.4 billion.

Based in the UK, THG is the largest online retailer of premium  beauty products in Europe and also operates in Australia, Asia, and the US.

A world leader in direct-to-consumer beauty, the company’s stable of retailers, brands and websites, includes Lookfantastic, Illamasqua, Eyeko and, Australia’s largest haircare and skincare online store.

Recent acquisitions include the US$60 million buyout of celebrity derm brand, Perricone MD, last September. At the end of 2020, THG also acquired, the number one pure-play online retailer of prestige and specialist beauty brands in the US, in a  US$350 million deal from Target.

THG has acquired Cult Beauty, a London-based luxury e-commerce player, for $518.8 million. Founded in 2008 by fashion and beauty PR veteran Alexia Inge and entrepreneur Jessica DeLuca, the company has been scouting for a buyer since 2019.

Cult Beauty stocks over 300 brands and over 70 per cent are not available on THG’s websites, including Huda Beauty, Charlotte Tilbury and Drunk Elephant. With more than 1.7 regular beauty purchasers, the company also has 1.6 million Instagram followers.

According to insiders, THG fended off a number of rival bidders, including Sephora, Manzanita Capital, the owners of Space NK, and ASOS.

Cult Beauty will maintain a separate identity within the THG portfolio, with estimated sales of AUD$113.3 million for the second half of the year and AUD$215.22 million for 2022. Fifty per cent of the company’s sales are already international.

The buyout expands THG’s global scope, says Matthew Moulding, Founder of THG. The multinational can now service Asia, Australia, Europe and the UK through both Cult Beauty and Lookfantastic. While Lookfantastic and will target the North American market.

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