Local council extends huge loan to billionaire Matt Moulding, founder and boss of beleaguered online retailer The Hut Group
Exposure: Matt Moulding has repaid about £25million of the original council loan
A local council has extended a huge loan to billionaire Matt Moulding, the founder and boss of beleaguered online retailer The Hut Group.
Labour-controlled Warrington council agreed earlier this month to lend another £18million to private company Moulding Capital Limited.
It was one of a series of loans worth a total of £200million made to the businessman making him the council’s largest single credit exposure.
Council documents seen by The Mail on Sunday say the new loan is ‘fully secured… against a portfolio of real estate assets’. It is not known what the loan is being used for.
A spokesman added that the council considered Moulding Capital Limited to be ‘a good credit risk’.
Moulding has repaid about £25million of the original council loan. Moulding, a Conservative party donor, became landlord to THG – with brands including Cult Beauty and Myprotein – after a controversial sale and leaseback deal in the run-up to THG’s £5.4billion stock market flotation in 2020.
The deal nets Moulding £20million a year in rent on 30 commercial properties. He has also won approval from the council for a new plastics recycling plant.
The Manchester-based group’s shares have plunged by almost 80 per cent since flotation amid concerns about governance, strategy and managerial control.