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Japanese Investor SoftBank Divests THG Stake

Published October 20, 2022
Published October 20, 2022

Japanese investor SoftBank has unloaded its stake in THG to Matthew Moulding, the group's founder, and Qatar Investment Authority, taking a loss of around £450 million ($509 million).

WHO: THG was founded in 2004 by Chief Executive Matthew Moulding and CFO John Gallemore, retails more than 8,000 brands, and operates more than 160 localized websites across 35 languages and 42 currencies. THG has become one of Europe's largest online retailers of premium beauty brands. Other holdings include Eyeko, Illamasqua, ESPA, SkinStore, RY, Glossybox,, and Grow Gorgeous, Ameliorate, Acheson & Acheson, Christophe Robin, Perricone MD, Bently Labs, and Cult Beauty.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Matthew Moulding, founder and CEO of THG, said, "I'm delighted to be further increasing my family's stake in THG, continuing our unswerving support following on from other recent share purchases. QIA shares the board's vision of the scale of opportunity for THG, building a British global success story in large and growing addressable markets. QIA's long-term investment approach is a positive endorsement for the UK as a whole.”

Moulding continued, "I'm incredibly proud of the progress the team continue to make in each of our major divisions, and believe the uncertain macro-conditions provide an even greater opportunity for THG to further disrupt global beauty, nutrition and technology markets."

"The further increase in Moulding's stake and by QIA may very well increase rumors that THG will be subject to a potential management buyout or public-to-private transaction," Wayne Brown, an analyst at Liberum, told Bloomberg.


  • SoftBank has agreed to sell 80,621,797 ordinary shares of £0.005 each in the capital of THG. Qatar Investment Authority and THG's Matthew Moulding will receive 67,801,285 and 12,820,512 shares, respectively.
  • Moulding's purchase will take his direct and indirect holding in THG to 320.9 million shares and represents his fourth investment in THG since the IPO, with over £38 million invested in August 2021, July 2022, and October 2022.
  • While it is unclear exactly how much SoftBank lost on the deal, it is selling its stake for just £31 million.
  • SoftBank's stake was worth about £500 million after its initial investment. This deal sees the Japanese investor writing off as much as £450 million.
  • After THG's successful £5.4 billion float in September 2020, SoftBank struck a deal as part of a £1 billion fundraising deal in May 2021 that included an option to buy a 20% stake in its Ingenuity business at a £4.5 billion valuation. In July, the collaboration between THG and SoftBank was terminated due to "challenging market conditions."

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