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WALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE, INC.

(WBA)
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The Hut Group set for biggest British IPO in years

08/27/2020 | 02:55am EDT

* 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 shows.

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 and Nintendo.

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 the report.

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," Hewson said.

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)


© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BARCLAYS PLC 0.69% 180.3 Delayed Quote.22.99%
CMC MARKETS PLC -2.01% 487.5 Delayed Quote.24.68%
NESTLÉ S.A. 0.07% 113.82 Delayed Quote.9.17%
NINTENDO CO., LTD. 0.09% 67150 End-of-day quote.2.01%
WALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE, INC. 0.00% 55.31 Delayed Quote.38.69%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 132 B - -
Net income 2021 2 149 M - -
Net Debt 2021 8 803 M - -
P/E ratio 2021 19,8x
Yield 2021 3,46%
Capitalization 47 810 M 47 810 M -
EV / Sales 2021 0,43x
EV / Sales 2022 0,40x
Nbr of Employees 277 000
Free-Float 61,0%
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Technical analysis trends WALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE, INC.
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TrendsBullishBullishBullish
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
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Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 22
Average target price 55,39 $
Last Close Price 55,31 $
Spread / Highest target 30,2%
Spread / Average Target 0,14%
Spread / Lowest Target -24,1%
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Managers and Directors
NameTitle
Rosalind Gates Brewer Chief Executive Officer & Director
James Kehoe Global Chief Financial Officer & Executive VP
Stefano Pessina Executive Chairman
Francesco Tinto Global Chief Information Officer & Senior VP
Ornella Barra Chief Operating Officer
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