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Matt Molding reportedly backing £3bn bid for THG e-commerce business

City sources say billionaire Matt Molding would back the £3bn bid for his giant THG e-commerce business

Closing out: Nick Candy, seen with his wife Holly Valance, is considering an offer for THG

Closing out: Nick Candy, seen with his wife Holly Valance, is considering an offer for THG

Billionaire Matt Molding is reportedly backing a £3bn bid for his giant e-commerce business, according to City sources.

An offer of £2.50 per share, compared with Friday’s closing price of £1.45, would be enough to take THG off the stock market, the sources said.

The Mail on Sunday understands that Moulding, which has a ‘Golden Share’ that allows it to veto any offer, has made it clear to potential buyers that it plans to remain in control if the company goes private.

Last week THG, which is also known as The Hut Group, said it had received a £1.70 per share approach from Belerion Capital Group and King Street Capital, which would value the business at around £2.1bn. Belerion has investments in other online retail groups including Asos and Boohoo. It was founded by Iain McDonald, who sits on the THG board as a non-executive director.

The online retailer said in a statement that the offer “significantly undervalued the company and its future prospects.”

It was posted just minutes after real estate and tech investor Nick Candy said he was “considering a possible offer” to take THG private in a separate announcement.

THG chairman Charles Allen rushed the statement to the London Stock Exchange late Thursday after a report on investment website Betaville that same afternoon referenced Candy’s interest.

The sources said that THG had been contacted by the Acquisition Panel on the matter on Thursday afternoon. The reveal comes after months of speculation about potential deals and after Molding came forward to give prospective buyers the green light.

Offers would have to reach the ‘£2 to £2.50’ range for Molding to come to the table, the sources said. The company declined to comment. One source said the ‘fair value’ of the deal could be at least £4.

Its shares have taken a hit as e-commerce stocks fell out of favor after the pandemic and the reopening of high street stores.

THG floated in September 2020 at £5, rising to more than £8 at the beginning of last year. But it hit a low of 80p in March.

Candy has until June 16 to make a formal offer.

Molding has been publicly unhappy with running a publicly traded company, admitting last year that it had “sucked from start to finish”.

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