The Hut Group reported it had acquired the UK’s biggest online Health and Beauty retailer, the Lookfantastic Group. Hut Group paid around 19.4 million pounds for the retailer, in a move in line with its strategy to position itself as one of Europe’s biggest online players. Under the terms of the deal, Lookfantastic shareholders will get the investment amount, 19.4 million pounds in a mixture of cash and equity.
The Lookfantastic Group was founded and built up by the Crown family, along with business partners Keith Conniford & Martin Hurst, over the past three decades. As part of the deal, Daniel Crown, Chief Executive Officer of Lookfantastsic Group, will be joining the Board of The Hut Group to continue to grow the business and to assist with The Hut Group’s continued expansion into luxury goods.
The significant majority of revenues across the Lookfantastic Group are generated from its online operations, which include lookfantastic.com, lookmantastic.com & beautysleuth.co.uk. In addition, the business also plays a key role in the Health & Beauty industry by providing a training centre for hairdressers across the UK, as well as operating a number of salons in the South East.
The acquisition further extends The Hut Group’s reach into the luxury goods market and follows its recent acquisition of the UK’s largest online Gifting website, IWantOneofThose.com. The business accounts for the 31st March 2010 Lookfantastic Group report that the business generated sales of £20m, EBITDA of £2.8m and Profit Before Tax of £2.4m.
Founder and chief executive officer of The Hut Group Matthew Moulding commented that the Group was delighted to have entered into a partnership with the lookfantastic team. After reviewing the Health & Beauty industry earlier this year, The Hut Group identified lookfantastic as the market leader, said Moulding.
After meeting both management & shareholders, it soon became very clear that lookfantastic is a great business with a strong culture fit with The Hut Group, he added. The strength of the existing team is a key win for The Hut Group, as the firm looks to build experience and capability in new categories and become a key player in the luxury goods market, he concluded.
Lookfantastic Group chief executive officer noted that prior to holding discussions with The Hut Group, the firm had been considering investments to accelerate its growth and consolidate its position as the UK’s leading hair & beauty website.
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