* THG targets at least 920 mln pounds in London IPO
* CMC Markets analyst calls the valuation reasonable
* Debut could be the biggest London IPO since COVID-19
Aug 27 (Reuters) - E-commerce retailer The Hut Group plans a
London initial public offering that would value it at around 4.5
billion pounds ($5.95 billion), potentially the biggest listing
of a British company since 2013, as it seeks to tap investor
appetite for the online sector.
In what would be the first major London IPO since the
COVID-19 crisis, THG said on Thursday it plans to list in
mid-September at least 20% of its stock, selling 920 million
pounds in new shares and offering some existing shares for sale.
The Hut IPO is expected to be the biggest IPO of a British
company since the government floated the shares of its Royal
Mail postal service in 2013, data from the London Stock Exchange
International companies including Chine Pacific Insurance
Co. and Russian resource company EN+ raised
potentially more with their global depositary receipts.
THG, which operates retail brands, including Lookfantastic
and skincare group ESPA, has benefited from an online shopping
boom during lockdowns.
Its THG Ingenuity technology and operating platform is used
by global companies including Nestlé, Procter & Gamble
, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Johnson & Johnson
The firm said it saw strong revenue and earnings in the
first half as online demand rose. It booked revenue of 1.1
billion pounds in 2019, up 24.5% year-on-year and targets
overall revenue growth of 20-25% over the medium term.
The pandemic largely halted new listings earlier in the year
when markets recorded sharp falls as investors avoided risk.
Since then the IPO market has revived in Asia and the United
States, but remained slow in Europe.
Sky News reported the listing could give over 700 million
pounds worth of shares to founder Matt Moulding if THG manages a
market capitalisation of 7.25 billion pounds by December 2022.
THG did not immediately respond to requests for comment on
CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said the IPO would be
well received given the accelerated shift to online business and
said the valuation appeared reasonable.
"The technology is proven, and the business is used by big
consumer brands as a logistics and infrastructure provider,"
Barclays, Citi and JP Morgan are among the investment banks
working on the deal.
($1 = 0.7567 pounds)
(Reporting by Muvija M, additional reporting by Clara Denina in
London; Editing by Rachel Armstrong and Barbara Lewis)