The Hut Group Adds Muscle With The Acquisition Of Myprotein.com

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The Hut Group today announces its entry into the fast growing sports nutrition market with the acquisition of the UK’s leading online retailer in the category, Myprotein.com.

The Hut Group’s (“The Hut”) addition of Myprotein.com (“Myprotein”) further broadens its Health & Beauty offering while providing Myprotein with access to both The Hut’s highly regarded technology platform and its 6m customer database.

Myprotein, founded by Chief Executive Officer Oliver Cookson in 2004, operates through sites in the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Ireland and Spain, markets in which The Hut has a strong presence.

The deal follows The Hut’s proven strategy of using its best in class technology platform to operate multiple branded websites focused on selling fast moving consumer goods with high levels of repeat purchase. The deal also complements The Hut’s market leading male style and grooming website, mankind.co.uk, and provides opportunities to build on The Hut’s success in cross-marketing to its customers across all of its websites.

These sites include TheHut.com, lookfantastic.com, IWantOneOfThose.com Mankind.co.uk and Zavvi.com and are supported by the Group’s own end-to-end technology and operating platform.

Following the deal, Mr Cookson will join the Group as a Board Director and head The Hut’s enlarged Lifestyle Division.

Matthew Moulding, founder and CEO of The Hut Group, commented: “Myprotein.com is an outstanding business which we are delighted to welcome to the Group. Opportunities to partner with businesses of the scale of Myprotein that are continuing to grow rapidly in 2011 are few and far between, especially in this economic climate. It’s also a great advantage to be adding both the experience and expertise of Oliver Cookson, as well as the talented management team that have helped deliver such an impressive market position across Europe.

The addition of Myprotein to The Hut’s operating platform is another milestone in our ambitions to become one of Europe’s leading online players. The team at The Hut are looking forward to working together with Oliver in further developing and delivering Myprotein’s international growth plans.”

Oliver Cookson, founder and CEO of Myprotein, said: “I have immensely enjoyed the journey of helping to build Myprotein into the market leading business it is today and I am truly excited at the prospect of joining forces with The Hut Group, which is a business I have admired for a number of years. Myprotein’s range of award winning products coupled with The Hut’s leading technology platform and expansive customer base will help take Myprotein a step closer to becoming Europe’s leading sports nutrition brand.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the management and employees who have helped achieve what is a great growth story. However, for them and for me, this isn’t the end of the journey, it is the start of a new and what I am sure will be an equally, if not more, exciting one.”

The Hut’s legal adviser on the deal were Gateley’s, led by partner Paul Jefferson & supported by Jemma Bolton. The Hut team comprised Steven Whitehead, James Pochin and Darren Rajanah. Myprotein was advised by the Manchester office of Altium Capital, the team comprising Simon Lord, Andy Clarke and Phil Frame. Mr Cookson was advised by Addleshaw Goddard, led by partner Jim Tully and supported by Duncan Wilson.

ENQUIRIES:

Hudson Sandler Andrew Hayes/Andrew Leach/Kate Hough Tel: 020 7796 4133

Notes to the editor:

About The Hut Group

The Hut is the UK’s leading multi-product, multi-website online retailer with rapidly growing international operations. Founded in 2004 by CEO Matthew Moulding, it is focused on selling fast moving consumer goods that are non-perishable with high levels of repeat purchase. Products span health and beauty, gifting, entertainment, fashion, bags and footwear.

The Hut has developed its own best in class end-to-end technology platform supporting its multiple websites including:

TheHut.com lookfantastic.com Zavvi.com Mankind.co.uk Gifted.com IWantOneOfThose.com MyBag.co.uk MyLabel.co.uk AllSole.com HQhair.com