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Published September 10, 2017
Published September 10, 2017

Coming on the heels of an investment of £125m from Old Mutual Global Investors, The Hut Group acquires ESPA in a £100MM-plus deal, giving THG a value of about £2.5bn. The new funding provides considerable expansion power to fuel THG’s goal of being the world’s leading online beauty and healthcare retailer. Last month they snapped up makeup subscription service Glossybox and Australian e-commerce site

WHO: ESPA launched in 1993 and is a leader in the luxury spa sector. ESPA-trained beauty therapists performed over 5 million treatments globally. Their products and treatments are sold in over 700 spas in 50 countries including ESPA Life at The Corinthia London and top destinations of Ritz-Carlton, Peninsula, and One&Only. Their distribution also continues direct-to-consumer sales on the brand’s website along with several luxury retail outlets such as John Lewis, Liberty London, and Harvey Nichols. The brand develops and manufactures all their skin care products at its UK facility.

Built on a foundation of proprietary industry-leading technology, a world-class team, and a scientific approach to building global brands, The Hut Group was founded in 2004 by Matthew Moulding and John Gallemore and operates more than 140 web sites that sell health- and beauty-related products.

WHY: THG’s management is buying their way to becoming the world’s leading online beauty and healthcare retailer.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “We intend to invest substantially in the ESPA brand, especially in manufacturing capabilities, to develop the brand into a true global leader in its area,” chief executive Matthew Moulding told City A.M.

Susan Harmsworth, founder of ESPA, said in the same article, “I am delighted with this acquisition, which paves the way to an exciting next chapter in our journey. I am truly confident that The Hut Group has the passion and expertise to extend ESPA’s holistic philosophy which has been at the heart of our products, spas and treatments for twenty-five years. With spas in over 50 countries, this partnership enables us to reach even more customers all over the world.”


  • Hut Group purchased ESPA, from affiliates of KSL Capital Partners, LLC.
  • Terms of the deal were not disclosed but it is thought to be a £100MM-plus deal.
  • CMS, KPMG, and Deloitte advised the Hut Group on the ESPA deal.
  • Baylor Klein, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and Deloitte advised KSL.

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