The Sunday Telegraph - Business & Money

Hut Group boss poised to give up ‘golden share’

- By Louis Ashworth

THE founder of The Hut Group is poised to ditch his “golden share” in the company after a sharp fall in its share price sparked by investor concerns over his strategy.

Matthew Moulding, boss of the online beauty and tech business, will announce plans to move THG onto London’s main market as part of efforts to rebuild trust with shareholde­rs.

THG, which is listed on the junior market, suffered a 36pc share drop last week after a disastrous meeting with investors. It was the third double-digit weekly decline for the firm in the past two months, with about £4.8bn wiped off its valuation since early September.

Mr Moulding holds a “founder’s share” in the company, which owns online retailers including Myprotein and Lookfantas­tic. The arrangemen­t gives him the right to veto a hostile takeover of the Manchester-based group.

Sources said that an announceme­nt could be made as soon as tomorrow morning, with the shift to a more convention­al governance structure likely to take place next year.

The move is a blow to supporters of “dual-class” shares, a setup popular in the US in which directors are given greater voting rights than regular investors. Introducin­g dual-class structures to the London Stock Exchange’s premium stock listings was a key recommenda­tion of Lord Hill’s review of the market, released earlier this year.

THG’S structure raised eyebrows in the City, with the company scrambling to reassure investors over the strength of its business model over recent days.

It has also been in talks to appoint Andreas Hansson, an executive at Japanese investment giant Softbank, as part of efforts to overhaul its Governance, Sky News said.

Softbank pumped $730m (£540m) into THG in May and acquired an as-yetunused stock option that would allow it to buy a 19.9pc stake in Ingenuity, the British company’s e-commerce wing.

THG declined to comment.

 ?? ?? Matthew Moulding, The Hut Group chief executive, is to ditch the arrangemen­t that gives him the right to veto a hostile takeover
Matthew Moulding, The Hut Group chief executive, is to ditch the arrangemen­t that gives him the right to veto a hostile takeover

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