Hut Group’s float prom­ises bumper payday for co-founder

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By Rhi­an­non Curry

THE co-founder of on­line health and beauty firm The Hut Group could net one of the big­gest pay­outs in Bri­tish cor­po­rate his­tory as it plots a £4.5bn stock mar­ket float.

Matthew Mould­ing, ex­ec­u­tive chair­man, who be­gan work­ing life as a pot washer in his lo­cal pub, is in line to pocket more than £700m of shares through a long-stand­ing bonus scheme, which will pay out if the com­pany is worth at least £7.25bn by De­cem­ber 2022.

Mr Mould­ing al­ready owns a mi­nor­ity stake in the com­pany and is set to be awarded up to 10pc of shares if the plans prove to be a suc­cess, ac­cord­ing to Sky News.

At a £7.25bn mar­ket value, this would be worth £725m, pro­pel­ling him fur­ther into the realms of the su­per­rich. His ex­ist­ing share­hold­ing is re­port­edly worth more than £1bn. The Manch­ester-based busi­ness has grown to be­come one of the largest on­line re­tail­ers in beauty and nutri­tion, em­ploy­ing around 7,000 peo­ple and trad­ing in 169 coun­tries.

The firm stocks cos­metic brands in­clud­ing Christophe Robin, ESPA and Il­la­masqua.

The po­ten­tial payday comes as the com­pany pre­pares to file its in­ten­tion to float on the Lon­don Stock Ex­change later this week, when de­tails of the bonus pro­gramme will also be re­leased. The firm hopes to go pub­lic on Sept 16 in a list­ing that Mr Mould­ing said would cre­ate more mil­lion­aires than any other in Bri­tish cor­po­rate his­tory.

The float – Lon­don’s big­gest so far this year – will mean the com­pany sells be­tween £500m and £900m of new shares to in­sti­tu­tional in­vestors.

As well as a bumper payday for Mr Mould­ing, the scheme will boost around 500 other em­ploy­ees un­der­stood to have been given eq­uity in the busi­ness. The Hut Group de­clined to com­ment.

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