The Hut Group to step up expansion online

The Hut Group: £14 million investment
The Hut Group: £14 million investment

LONDON - The Hut Group is to step up its expansion plans after receiving £14m from investors, including the former chief executive of clothing retailer Matalan, Angus Monro.

City fund managers Artemis and The William Currie Group, as well as technology firms Balderton Capital, also contributed.

As a result of the investment the online retail group said that it has now earmarked businesses for acquisition as part of its expansion efforts. It already runs its self-titled brand site, thehut.com, as well as Zavvi.com. This week it announced it would launch a stand-alone site called Gifted.com next month.

The fundraising was completed in eight weeks and was led by Steve Whitehead, mergers and acquisitions director, who joined the business in January from Barclays Private Equity. The European investment bank Altium was the lead arranger on the equity fundraising.

Monro has joined The Hut Group's board as non-executive director along with Iain McDonald of The William Currie Group and Mark Evans of Balderton Capital.

Matthew Moulding, chief executive of The Hut Group, said: "The capital will be deployed to assist with our growth plans and acquire specialist online businesses which complement our existing product offering."

Angus Monro added: "With The Hut Group's focus on fast moving consumer goods and serving the online consumer, it is very well positioned to benefit from the continued retail channel shift to online."

The investment will also result in the creation of 100-150 jobs over the next 12-18 months at the retailer.

The Hut Group was founded in 2004 and focuses primarily on fast moving consumer goods including entertainment (Games, DVDs, CDs, Books) and electricals, and claims to have grown turnover more than 150% each year since its inception.

Zavvi went into administration in December 2008 and its stores were closed by February 2009. The following month, The Hut Group acquired the retailer and relaunched it as an online brand.

 

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