THG boss blasts hedge funds and media after it posts £500m operating loss

THG boss Matt Moulding has launched a diatribe against those hedge funds, the media and analysts who he claims are trying to devalue his and other UK businesses.

The founder of the online beauty and nutrition retailer took to LinkedIn to write an open letter criticising negative sentiment in a seesaw week which saw THG announce its latest results, Moulding receiving a warning to “get his house in order” and confirming a preliminary bid for the company.

Starting by quoting: “In the words of Alanis Morissette ‘Isn’t it ironic’,” Moulding suggested that it had “sadly become standard practice” among hedge funds, media and bank analysts to report negatively about UK listed companies, including THG.

Moulding claimed that the purpose of “the game” was to bet that a share price will plummet and then discredit the company to secure the fall.

Yesterday, THG posted widening losses of almost £500m despite profitability improving in the first quarter of its current year.

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Moulding’s post included a video based on Wolf of Wall Street that he previously shared with staff as he went on to claim that the lack of pension funds investing in LSE listed companies was at the root of the issue.

“In simple terms, the UK market has suffered from years of ‘over-fishing’, where small groups of industry professionals come together to try and damage UK businesses, and their share prices. Nobody tells you about this when joining the LSE, but it finds you soon enough.

“The number of CEOs of other listed companies that have reached out to me since THG joined the LSE is remarkable. Each wanting to share their war stories,” he said.

Moulding added: “The past 48 hours have been ironic. A recent negative press against THG & me has had dramatically the opposite effect than intended.

“A throw-away line in an otherwise typically wildly inaccurate press piece, resulted in a share price spike and an obligation to make an announcement, culminating in a c.45% increase in the share price on the day. Ouch!”

A major shareholder has urged Moulding to “start to rebuild confidence” by “putting in a couple of results that beat targets”, and to create “some momentum before looking to release value”.

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