Softbank exits THG stake, founder and QIA buy its holding

Softbank exits THG stake, founder and QIA buy its holding

The direct link between Japan’s Softbank and THG has ended with the Japanese group agreeing to sell its entire holding in the British e-tail-to-tech firm.


That adds up to over 80 million shares, with almost 13 million of them being bought by a company owned by THG founder Matthew Moulding and nearly 68 million by QIA. They’re being sold at 39p each, much lower than the almost-£8 each that the shares traded at less than two years ago and below the closing price of 45p on Monday.

QIA — or the Qatar Investment Authority  — is Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and an existing shareholder, having “cornerstoned THG’s initial public offering in September 2020, with deep expertise in retail, consumer and technology and a focus on growth opportunities which have a positive impact”.

THG also said the purchase of the shares by Moulding “further evidences his commitment to the group and its strategy, and is his fourth investment in THG since IPO, with over £38m invested in August 2021, July 2022 and October 2022”. This purchase will take his direct and indirect holding to almost 321 million shares in the business. 

He 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.

“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.”

And while he thanked Softbank for its “support as a financial and commercial partner”, he added that the business will “continue to benefit from the relationships formed across their international technology portfolio”.

SoftBank has made around a £450 million loss on its investment. It bought an 8% stake in May 2021 for around £481 million.

The company had already ended an agreement that would have allowed it to acquire around 20% of THG’s Ingenuity tech division for $1.6bn.

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