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IREU Top500 The Customer Report: 2018

IREU Top500 The Customer Report: 2018

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Hut Group buys Lookfantastic Group for £19.4m

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The Hut Group has bought the online luxury health and beauty retailer Lookfantastic Group for £19.4m in what it says is part of its “ongoing strategy to become one of Europe’s largest online players.”

Daniel Crown, chief executive of the Lookfantastic Group, and a member of the Crown family which has built up the business over the last 30 years, will join The Hut Group’s board, helping to grow the new business and helping The Hut Group expand into luxury goods.

Most of Lookfantastic Group’s £20m annual sales comes from its online businesses, including lookfantastic.com, lookmantastic.com and beautysleuth.co.uk. It also operates salons in the South East and runs a training centre for hairdressers. In the year to March 31, the company reported £2.4m in pre-tax profits.

Matthew Moulding, founder and chief executive of The Hut Group, said the buy was: “a key win for The Hut Group, as we look to build experience and capability in new categories and become a key player in the luxury goods market.”

He added: “After reviewing the health and beauty industry earlier this year we identified lookfantastic as the market leader. After meeting both management and shareholders, it soon became very clear that lookfantastic is a great business with a strong culture fit with The Hut Group.”

Daniel Crown, chief executive of Lookfantastic Group, said: “Prior to holding discussions with The Hut Group, we had been considering investment in our company to accelerate our growth and consolidate our position as the UK’s leading hair and beauty website. When we spoke to The Hut we immediately recognised they were the right partner for the next stage of Lookfantastic’s growth.

The £19.4m cash and equity deal was funded through a £18.5m institutional fundraising from existing shareholders. They included Balderton Capital, Artemis, William Currie Group and Angus Monro, former chief executive of Matalan.

It’s the second fundraising of the year for The Hut Group, which raised £14m in April of this year. In August it bought IWantOneofThose.com.
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