Will Hut Group buy Espa in £100m deal?

The Hut Group has gone acquisition crazy with the latest target of its buying spree being skincare and spa brand Espa, according to reports.


Espa


The UK firm, which last month bought Glossybox and haircare company RY, is believed to be about to buy Espa from private equity firm KSL Capital Partners in a deal worth more than £100 million.

The upscale brand is stocked in major department stores including Harvey Nichols and John Lewis, as wells being available in hotel chains such as Ritz-Carlton, One&Only and Peninsula. But its core stockists are spas, 700 of them in 60 different countries.

Sky News said that the 13-year-old company could announce the deal as soon as this week, although neither the company would not comment on the report.

As well as its recent purchases, The Hut Group also owns Mio Skincare, Grow Gorgeous and lookfantastic.com and it recently raised extra funds to help with its buying binge, selling a stake to Old Mutual Global Investors for £125 million.

That deal valued the firm at £2.5 billion, good news for its other investors that include asset manager Blackrock, private equity giant KKR and Belgian investor Sofina.

CEO Matthew Moulding, who founded the firm in 2004 with John Gallemore, said it expects to be employing 6,000 people by 2019, double the current figure.

And sources told Sky News that sales are expected to rise 50% to £750 million this year. That follows fast growth in 2016 when profit on an Ebitda basis rose 67% to £50 million.

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