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The Hut Group acquires Lookfantastic Group, the online Health & Beauty company

The Hut Group has announced the £19.4m acquisition of the Lookfantastic Group, the UK’s largest online Health & Beauty retailer, as part of its ongoing strategy to become one of Europe’s largest online players.

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The Hut Group acquires Lookfantastic Group, the online Health & Beauty company

The deal will see lookfantastic shareholders receive £19.4m in a combination of cash & equity for a business that has been built up by the Crown family, along with business partners Keith Conniford & Martin Hurst, over the past 30 years. As part of the deal, Daniel Crown, CEO of Lookfantastic 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. Accounts to 31 March 2010 for the Lookfantastic Group report that the business generated sales of £20m, EBITDA of £2.8m and Profit Before Tax of £2.4m.

Commenting on the deal, Matthew Moulding, Founder & CEO of The Hut Group stated,“We are delighted to have entered into a partnership with the lookfantastic team. After reviewing the Health & Beauty industry earlier this year, we identified lookfantastic as the market leader. 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. The strength of the existing team is a key win for The Hut Group, as we look to build experience and capability in new categories and become a key player in the luxury goods market.”

The Hut Group also said that the lookfantastic acquisition has been funded via a substantially over-subscribed £18.5m institutional fundraising from existing shareholders including Balderton Capital, Artemis, William Currie Group & ex-Matalan CEO Angus Monro.

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