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The Hut Group jumps 30% as it debuts on the London Stock Exchange.

  • The Hut Group jumps 30% as it debuts on the London Stock Exchange.
  • The company sold 376 million shares at 500 pence each in its IPO.
  • The Hut Group’s listing in London valued it at £920 million.

The Hut Group debuted on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Its £5.4 billion initial public offering (IPO) marked the largest in more than five years for a technology company in London.

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On its debut, shares of the company printed a 30% growth on Wednesday.  The British company that owns prominent names like Myprotein and Beauty Trend priced its shares at 500 pence in its IPO and sold a total of 376 million shares. Its London listing raised £1.88 billion.

KKR sells its entire stake in The Hut Group

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The Hut Group’s listing valued it at £920 million. Shareholders led by KKR (private equity group) and Matthew Moulding (founder), will share £961 million of gross proceeds. Sources confirmed on Wednesday that KKR decided in favour of selling its entire shareholding.

Analyst Michael Hewson of CMC Markets commented on the e-commerce company’s listing and said:

“Time will tell as to whether the valuation is a solid one, or whether KKR has made the right move in selling out of their entire stake.”

The Hut Group’s debut was a hint that the London IPO market is recovering after months of inactivity due to COVID-19 that has so far infected more than 370 thousand people in the United Kingdom and caused over 41 thousand deaths.

On the other hand, however, corporate governance watchers have raised concerns attributed to an unusual structure of The Hut Group’s deal. For instance, Moulding is expected to serve as the company’s Chief Executive Officer and will also keep his seat as the Chairman.

The Hut Group will issue shares in different classes, that opens a window of opportunity for Moulding to land significantly greater voting power than what is commonly seen in the majority of the London-listed companies.

Minerva Analytics’ comments on Wednesday

Stewardship director Francisco Lopez de Saa of Minerva Analytics commented on the structure and said:

“They are completely separate roles and combining the two undermines the board’s primary duty, which is to challenge the Chief Executive Officer.”

He further remarked that issuing shares in classes was not suitable for the British market as it could put minority shareholders at a greater risk. While The Hut Group is big enough to be listed on the FTSE 100, the structure makes it ineligible for the UK’s blue-chip index.

The London Stock Exchange refrained from commenting any further at this stage.  

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