Nick Candy abandons Hut Group bid after it snubs fresh takeover offers

Nick Candy abandons Hut Group bid after the online retailer snubs latest takeover offers

Nick Candy has abandoned his pursuit of THG after it once again rebuffed his takeover proposals.

The billionaire property mogul, who owns One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge, revealed last month that he was considering a bid for the online retailer, which is run by entrepreneur Matt Moulding.

However, his vehicle Candy Ventures announced it ‘does not intend to make an offer for THG’ after the latter’s board said that all recent approaches for the group had been ‘unacceptable’ and ‘significantly undervalued’ the business.

Pursuit: Property tycoon Nick Candy (pictured with wife Holly Valance) hasbacked out from his pursuit of online retailer THG

Candy previously made two fully funded bids for THG but both were rejected by its shareholders, according to sources close to the matter.

A third offer was thought to have been in the works, but Candy had been forced to pull out when THG declined to give him access to the information needed to perform due diligence checks. 

The billionaire’s bids were also said to have had the backing of sovereign wealth funds and large international institutions.

It is not the first takeover effort this year by the 49-year-old tycoon, who is married to actress Holly Valance.

He crashed out of the bidding war to buy Premier League football club Chelsea in March after spearheading an offer backed by two South Korean firms. 

Meanwhile, a consortium including Belerion Capital, an investment firm founded by THG non-executive director Iain McDonald, also said it was no longer planning on making a bid after its previous £2billion offer was turned down by the company.

Potential suitors had until 5pm yesterday to make a firm offer for THG or walk away.

Roland French, analyst at financial services group Davy, said there had been a ‘pretty low probability’ of a bid materialising and the lack of a formal approach was ‘not surprising’.

He added that Moulding’s ‘golden share’, which allows him to veto any takeover offers for the company, meant the chief executive would remain ‘the primary architect of any buyout’. 

THG’s stock plunged 29 per cent, or 30.45p, to 74.4p after the bidders threw in the towel.

The latest tumble means shares in the company are now worth 85 per cent less than they were when it made its debut on the London Stock Exchange at 500p in September 2020.