The Hut Group buys British beauty firm in £100m deal

Simon Austin's picture

Manchester-based The Hut Group (THG) has acquired British beauty contract manufacturer and product developer Acheson & Acheson in a deal worth up to £100m.

The deal comes as Sky News reports that the group has rejected "a string of investment and takeover offers" valuing the firm at almost £4bn. THG secured a £600m credit facility in May which it said would be used for mergers, acquisitions and infrastructure investment. 

Acheson & Acheson was established in 1992 by Kenneth and Fiona Acheson and has more than 380 employees, of which 50 work exclusively on product development and innovation. 

The business offers an end-to-end service that runs from product/ packaging design & development to warehouse and distribution. Acheson & Acheson has a state-of-the-art 78,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in Frome, Somerset, along with two other sites in Trowbridge, including its head office.

The facilities will now be added to THG’s portfolio, which includes two food production and distribution facilities – a 1m sq. ft. Cheshire based facility (Omega) and a US facility in Kentucky – as well as a production and logistics centre in Poland.

THG is one of the world’s largest online beauty and wellbeing businesses. Future expansion plans include spending £50m to replicate Acheson & Acheson in Europe and USA. 

Ameliorate, Acheson & Acheson’s own skincare brand, is included in the purchase and will be added to THG’s own brand portfolio.

Matthew Moulding, Chief Executive Officer of The Hut Group, said: “Acheson & Acheson is a truly exciting addition to THG and I am delighted to welcome this very talented team.

"In Acheson & Acheson, we have made a significant investment and one that uniquely positions THG to make a step-change in its innovation, operational excellence and manufacturing capacity.”

Kenneth Acheson, Co-owner and Managing Director, added: “I am delighted with this transaction, which will no doubt take Acheson & Acheson to the next level of growth under THG’s expert guidance.

"We’re incredibly proud of everything we’ve accomplished to date and of our fantastic team. It’s why finding the right partner was of utmost importance to us and I have absolutely no doubt that we’ve found this in THG.”