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The High Street Group


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8 hours ago, spunko said:

yeah meant that. They own Glossy Box and get them confused.

We build

In just 15 years we’ve acquired some of the world’s most distinguished beauty and lifestyle brands and taken them to the next level.


We drive

The world-class tech and infrastructure driving our brands also supercharges other retailers hungry for global growth at speed.


We create

We create real-world experiences alongside digital ones to deepen our connection with customers and enrich their connection with brands.


Thats the blurb from the website.

Fast moving customer goods ....

AcquisitionYearCompany DescriptionRef.

Zavvi2009The Hut Group's first acquisition was of Zavvi, an online entertainment business that had gone into Administration in 2008.[18][19]

IWOOT - I Want One of Those2010The Hut Group bought IWOOT (IWantOneOfThose.com) from Findel Group as well as Confetti, a wedding accessories retailer.[20]

Lookfantastic.com2010The Hut Group bought Lookfantastic group from the Crown family in November 2010. The business sells premium beauty skincare and haircare and operates beauty salons across the United Kingdom.[21]

Mankind Direct2010The Hut Group bought Mankind Direct weeks after purchasing Lookfantastic Group. Mankind is a male-focused online grooming retailer. At the time, it reported £5M annual sales.[22]

HQHair2011The Hut Group bought HQ Hair out of administration in 2011.[23]

Myprotein2011The Hut Group bought Myprotein in 2011. The deal estimated at £60M at the time of the announcement.[24]

Coggles2013The Hut Group picked up luxury fashion retailer Coggles from Administration. Originally a predominantly physical retailer based in York, it operated solely online until December 2017 when the company launched a new flagship store in Alderley Edge, Cheshire.[25][26]

Active Nutrition International2014The Hut Group bought Finnish online sports nutrition retailer Active Nutrition International in 2014.[27]

ProBikeKit2013The Hut Group acquires ProBikeKit.com in 2013

Preloved2014The Hut Group acquired online secondhand marketplace, Preloved from its founder Ian Buzer in 2014. The marketplace and community was started in 1998 and is one of the largest in the UK with over 6 million members.[28][29]

SkinStore2016The Hut Group acquired US and Australian Beauty Retailer, SkinStore, from Walgreens Boots Alliance in 2016. The retailer is one of the leading online-only beauty retailers in USA (Skinstore.com) and Australia (Skincarestore.com.au).[30][28]

IdealShape2016The Hut Group acquired IdealShape, a US-based dieting and nutrition brand based out of American Fork, Utah.[31]

Hangar Seven2017The Hut Group acquired H7, a leading UK-based content producer focused on video and photographic content for the brand and retail industry. Hangar Seven had studios in London, Leeds, Macclesfield and in Portugal.[32]

UK2 Group2017The Hut Group acquired UK2 Group, a web hosting firm with data centres around the world. UK2 was part-owned by LDC, the banking division of Lloyds Banking Group since 2011.[33]

RY.com.au2017The Hut Group acquired RY.com.au, an Australian beauty online retailer. RY, which stands for 'Recreate Yourself', was established by James Patten and Brad Carr in 2005.[34]

GLOSSYBOX2017The Hut Group acquired European provider of beauty box subscription services, GLOSSYBOX, from fellow investment companies Rocket Internet and Kinnevik Online.[35]

ESPA2017The Hut Group acquired ESPA, which is based in the UK. ESPA has a presence in more than 700 spas in 60 countries.[36]

Illamasqua2017The Hut Group acquired Illamasqua, a British make-up brand. Illamasqua was founded in 2006 by Julian Kynaston.[37]

Language Connect2018The Hut Group acquired Language Connect, an online translation company. Language Connect was founded in 2003 by Ben and Iwona Taylor and has grown to become an international language services provider.[38]

Christophe Robin2019The Hut Group acquired French haircare brand Christophe Robin, which was established in 1999, for approximately £50 million.[39]

Eclectic Hotel Group2019In May 2019, it was announced that THG had acquired Eclectic Hotel Group, marking their second leisure property purchase since acquiring Hale Country Club and Spa in 2016. The purchase consisted of King Street Townhouse and Great John Street Hotel, both situated in Manchester, but not Didsbury House Hotel or Eleven Didsbury Park, which were hived out of Eclectic Hotel Group before completion.



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Throwing money at random shit.

Id like to say Id not heard of any of those. It would be a lie.

Going thru the list I know one - Illamasqua

Only because he bought a a 2nd home near my uncle ~10+ years back.

The fat minging fucker up walked up to us and explained that hed created a makeup brand for goths and blokes.

Heres some pictures of him:









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40 minutes ago, leonardratso said:

hes a looker, hope you took him out on a date and did the nasty on the local common.

The guy who owns the Hut Group looks like he spends more time on himself than the company. That'd concern me as an investor, working with someone so vain and desperate to hide the fact he's pushing 55.


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22 hours ago, spunko said:

The guy who owns the Hut Group looks like he spends more time on himself than the company. That'd concern me as an investor, working with someone so vain and desperate to hide the fact he's pushing 55.


Matthew founded The Hut Group in 2004 and moved full-time into the business in 2006.

He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen and spent 8 years as Chief Financial Officer of 20:20, the distribution division of The Caudwell Group, revenues increased from £70m to £1.5bn.

Matthew also led the £365m sale of 20:20 to private equity in 2006, before moving full-time to The Hut Group.

Connected to Cuadwell .... run ....


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Fuck me.

Gary Forrest ison the R4 news now, wit that Timpson bloke.

Covid, bar and pub takings down.

Hes not a fucking pub n bar operator FFS. Hes running massive bond based property ponzi.

What is wrong with these fucking journos? Dont they have any fucking sense.



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On 22/09/2020 at 10:22, spunko said:

The guy who owns the Hut Group looks like he spends more time on himself than the company. That'd concern me as an investor, working with someone so vain and desperate to hide the fact he's pushing 55.


Self neglect is a bigger sin than self love.

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Matthew Vincent in London JUNE 18 2020 20 Print this page

Britain’s financial regulator is to ban the marketing of high-risk “mini bonds” to retail investors permanently, after nearly 12,000 pensioners and small savers lost £236m in the collapse of London Capital and Finance.

On Thursday, the Financial Conduct Authority said it would fully implement the temporary prohibition it introduced in January — and extend it to other speculative investments that are hard to trade. Mini bonds are loans to small businesses that became popular with private investors as they often promised high rates of interest to compensate for the risk involved.

However, while these returns attracted thousands of savers in a low interest-rate environment, the bonds themselves were not regulated by the FCA — only their marketing, or the provision of advice on them.

Under the ban, retail investors may not be offered unlisted bonds that are used to fund a third-party business, to buy or acquire other investments, or to buy or fund the construction of property. Unlike listed bonds, these types of investment are not traded on an exchange, making it difficult or impossible for investors to sell up.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Is the High Street tower starting to crumble.................Copied and pasted from Bond Review

A High Street Group subsidiary has been put into administration following a battle with a creditor in the High Court on 30 September. (Hat tip to an anonymous reader who pointed me to the case report.)

For clarity, I will emphasise that neither High Street Commercial Finance Limited, which issues the loans covered in my 2018 review, nor the holding company High Street Grp Limited are in administration. The company which is in administration, High Street Rooftop Holdings Limited, is another subsidiary of High Street Grp.

The story goes as follows: Strategic Advantage SPC is a company in the Cayman Islands which invests on behalf of “Korean blue-chip investors”.

Strategic Advantage employed Hypa Asset Management Limited and its two directors Simon Welsh and Marc Hounsell. Through Hypa, Strategic Advantage invested £26 million into rooftop projects run by High Street Rooftop Holdings in 2018. High Street Rooftop promised an interest rate of 16.5% in return, with the loans to be repaid in 18 months, being December 2019 and January 2020.

January came and went without High Street Rooftop paying the money back.

High Street Rooftop promised to repay according to a specified schedule and undertook to provide audited and group accounts by March 2020. Neither of these conditions were met.

(As regular readers will know, High Street Group has failed to file legally-required accounts not just for High Street Rooftop but the parent company High Street Grp and High Street Commercial Finance. The latter two companies are a whole year overdue.)

Strategic Advantage had had enough and applied to put High Street Rooftop into administration. High Street Rooftop claimed that the payment dates had been varied such that it wasn’t overdue, and the original loan agreement could no longer be enforced.

High Street Group owner Gary Forrest claimed in court that a few weeks after borrowing the money, in July 2018, “it became clear that the rooftop developments would not proceed to completion quickly enough for the Company to meet its repayment obligation due to delays in obtaining planning permission“.

In Forrest’s version, he proposed to Hounsell that £20 million of Strategic Advantage’s money should be redeployed to other High Street Group projects, known as the PRS Developments, which were due to complete on various dates between October 2020 and February 2023. Forrest claimed that Hounsell agreed – and in doing so accepted that Strategic Advantage would have to wait until the projects completed for its money, voiding the original early 2020 repayment date.

In support of his version of events, Forrest cites an exchange of text messages which no longer exists.

Mr Forrest says that he believes this exchange with Mr Hounsell took place over text message but he no longer has access to his texts.

In the words of the judge, “Mr Hounsell’s account of his dealings with Mr Forrest is very different.” Hounsell denies ever agreeing to allow Strategic Advantage’s money to be moved to other HSG projects.

Among the evidence cited by Hounsell is:

  • a letter written by Forrest in July 2018 confirming the originally agreed repayment dates and containing no reference to using the money for other HSG projects with considerably longer timescales
  • an email exchange in August 2018 in which Forrest agreed to meet with a Strategic Advantage investor, to present the merits of the PRS Developments as a new project – which Hounsell submits made no sense if Strategic Advantage knew that their money had already been redeployed to PRS

High Street Rooftop argued that Forrest and Hounsell should be cross-examined and that other witnesses should be called to determine who was telling the truth. Judge Andrew Sutcliffe QC rejected this argument on the basis that HSG and Strategic Advantage had agreed that the loan agreement should only be varied in writing, and there was no evidence in writing to support High Street Rooftop’s contention that Strategic Advantage had agreed to wait longer for its money, among other more technical arguments.

The judge therefore rejected High Street Rooftop’s argument that Strategic Advantage could not enforce its loans, even though High Street Rooftop had not only failed to meet the original repayment dates but a renegotiated payment schedule and an agreement to provide audited accounts.

High Street Rooftop also argued that it should not be put into administration on the grounds that the purpose of an administration could not be fulfilled.

This argument was essentially a legalistic version of that old chestnut ‘everything will be fine as long as you don’t ask for the money back’.

[High Street Rooftop] state that the Company’s assets (namely the funding received under the [Strategic Advantage] facility) have been invested in the PRS Developments which will not realise any genuine commercial value until such time as those developments are completed. They say that the likelihood of the PRS Developments being completed on time and in a manner that achieves any realisation for the Company will be significantly impacted if an administration order is made.

High Street Rooftop stated that enforcing the loan and putting them into administration will not only prevent them seeing the PRS Developments through to completion, but impact the wider High Street Group as well.

They also say that the Company has spoken to BLME and Topland Jupiter Ltd (Topland), the secured creditors of Group companies carrying out two of the PRS Developments, namely, Olympius Developments Ltd (Olympius) and Rodus Developments Ltd (Rodus), who have indicated that if an administration order is made in respect of the Company, they will exercise their enforcement rights in respect of their security and appoint receivers over the PRS Developments managed by those companies, being Hadrian’s Tower in Newcastle and Middlewood Plaza in Salford.

The aspiring administrators, for their part, explained to the court why putting High Street Rooftop into administration should proceed.

Following the granting of an administration order, the Administrators would be in a position to investigate the ultimate destination/flow of the funds borrowed by High Street Rooftop and in turn lent to group companies. In order to maximise the position for creditors, the Administrators would seek to take steps to recover the funds from across the group on the basis these represent inter-company debtor balances.

The high-pitched sound you can hear is the squeaking of bums belonging to other High Street Group investors.

As described above, at the time of the hearing High Street Rooftop had still failed to file accounts for December 2018 or meet its promise to provide Strategic Advantage with audited group accounts.

Instead, HSG Finance Director Joanne Bell made a witness statement and provided various documents:

  • a letter from HSG’s “external accountants” Stokoe Rodger LLP (Ms Bell stated that PwC, who are supposedly compiling HSG’s long-awaited statutory accounts, could not provide anything to the court for “reasons connected with workload and Covid-19” (at least she didn’t blame Brexit)
  • draft 2019 statutory accounts and 2020 management accounts for High Street Rooftop
  • management accounts for Rodus, one of the PRS projects
  • a cashflow analysis and up to date values for the PRS developments
  • a financial forecast for High Street Rooftop

High Street Rooftop claimed that these documents showed it to be solvent and that Strategic Advantage would get its money back.

Strategic Advantage responded that

  • High Street Rooftop had failed to take into account the interest it owed
  • “The further evidence raises more questions than it answers” – specifically, by including £9.7 million of “prepayments” and causing a liability for “inter-company payables” to disappear, the 2020 balance sheet had “been inflated” from £25k to £9.8 million “without any satisfactory explanation as to how this has happened”.

The judge accepted Strategic Advantage’s first point and stated that “On the basis that very substantial interest liabilities have already accrued and will continue to accrue and it is not explained how the Company could meet this obligation to pay interest… the inevitable concusion is that High Street Rooftop is already insolvent or likely to become insolvent”.

The judge also agreed that “it is regrettable that no explanation has been provided” for the alleged balance sheet inflation, and the failure of High Street Rooftop to provide an adequate explanation “raises further questions as to the reliability of [High Street Rooftop’s] financial information”.

High Street Rooftop’s argument that it shouldn’t be put into administration because Strategic Advantage was going to get its money back eventually was therefore rejected.

High Street Rooftop’s last resort was to get the onion out.

Mr Brown’s evidence is that the making of an administration order over the
Company could have a hugely detrimental impact across the Group, with the
potential loss of hundreds of jobs and the cessation of building of thousands of
new homes as well as hotels and commercial properties. […] Mr Forrest says that an insolvency event for one of the companies in the Group is likely to have wide ranging and serious implications for the rest of the Group which could be catastrophic for the individuals concerned, with some 300 full-time employees and 1,000 subcontractors being affected.

The judge confirmed he was “acutely conscious” of these potential consequences, but that they did not override Strategic Advantage’s right to enforce its debt.

In my judgment, a return to secured creditors is more likely to be achieved if licensed insolvency practitioners (rather than the existing management) are in control of the Company who can seek to ascertain full information regarding the financial position of the Company and take informed commercial decisions about safeguarding the Company’s assets and achieving a return to secured creditors.

Strategic Advantage’s application to put High Street Rooftop into administration was therefore granted.

What effect this has on the wider High Street Group, as feared by Gary Forrest, and the investors in its loan notes, remains to be seen.

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  • 1 month later...

Development firm High Street Group eases fears over its future after court case concerns

Company had raised concerns after subsidiary was put into administration but says it is on track to complete high profile developments


One of the North East’s best known development companies has insisted it is in good health after a subsidiary was placed into administration amid warnings for the wider group.

Newcastle’s High Street Group is best known for Hadrian’s Tower, the city’s tallest building, as well as plans to develop a large plot of land next to St James’ Park.

Phew. Thasts good. I was really worried.


During the court case, High Street Group chief executive Gary Forrest and in-house lawyer Stephen Brown warned that any move against the rooftops business could impact on the wider group, hitting hundreds of jobs and potentially putting its major development projects at risk.

Legal documents seen by The Journal show that Mr Forrest told the court that “an insolvency event for one of the companies in the Group is likely to have wide-ranging and serious implications for the rest of the Group which could be catastrophic for the individuals concerned, with some 300 full-time employees and 1,000 subcontractors being affected.”

Soooo ... like a big fucking house of cards then ......

Comments from the real world seem to be leaking into the poof pieces ...


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  • 2 weeks later...

In November I received a letter from Gary Forrest himself decrying my “constant inaccuracy” and inviting me to meet him and HSG management at the head office in Newcastle. I declined, and invited him again to point out any inaccuracies. He failed to point out any – hardly a surprise as if there had been any, HSG would have detailed them when they started their legal campaign a year ago.

This Sunday Forrest sent another email threatening me with the receipt of yet another pre-action letter on Monday 23rd. (Yes, Sunday – and this is a man who supposedly has the work-life balance of Blondini.) At time of writing no such letter has been received. Things got really bizarre when Forrest started threatening to expose me as being somebody I’m not.

We now have clear evidence that [XX] is Brev. The lawyers WILL be confirming this in writing and that they are confident in taking a case to court. You know as well as I do that a law firm will not make such a statement if the evidence did not exist.

The content of the letters will also include a pre prepared written statement from [XX] that needs to be sworn under oath that they are not Brev. In the event that this is not signed and sworn we will accept this as our confirmation that [XX] is Brev and immediately file the court papers.

In the event that [XX] does sign the statement under oath we will still issue the legal proceedings and add perjury to the claim.

Needless to say, XX (name removed to protect the innocent) isn’t me. But I would say that, wouldn’t I. Anyway, whether I’m XX or not, apparently I have to sign a statement to say I’m not XX, because otherwise HSG will sue me. If I do sign to say (truthfully) I am not [XX], HSG will double-sue me by adding a private criminal prosecution for perjury to the civil case.

The only way out of this weird and wonderful legal web that HSG has woven around me like a spider on cannabis would seem to be to invite HSG to see me in court again. Watch this space…

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 24/09/2020 at 07:53, spygirl said:

Fuck me.

Gary Forrest ison the R4 news now, wit that Timpson bloke.

Covid, bar and pub takings down.

Hes not a fucking pub n bar operator FFS. Hes running massive bond based property ponzi.

What is wrong with these fucking journos? Dont they have any fucking sense.



Amazes me watching the thunderf00t scam takedowns how willingly Journos...journos for big media groups to boot, are willing to suspend the laws of physics in pursuit of a feel good 'man invents gadget to save planet' story. 


Actually, no it doesnt. They are journalists, after all. 

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From last year


The High Street Group and its unregulated loan notes have been on our radar for some time now since being cold-called by an unscrupulous unregulated introducer.

This scheme has reached such magnitude now that we are seriously concerned about the vast number of retail investors who are likely to lose all of their capital following the almost inevitable credit event which is drawing very close, more so given the reported delay of interest (let alone principal) payments.

There are several structural issues with these ‘loan notes’, and some of the financially illiterate promoters of the scheme, such as Stuart Lees, and ‘Louis’ on the paired thread.

Firstly, the commission structure of the notes is obscene and crippling to the issuer (High Street Group). A 35% commission is paid to the network of ‘introducers’, drawn from the loan proceeds. In addition, investors also receive interest of between 12% and 18%. For a one-year product, this equates to an interest cost of between 47%-53%. Gary Forrest must double his capital to return just the principal to this form of capital provider.

Retail investors are not aware of these costs, and some unregulated introducers have made significant amounts of commission whilst no doubt making false promises and telling outright lies to investors whom they should not be able to reach. Self-certification provides another loophole, encouraging investors to identify themselves as ‘sophisticated’, ‘professional’, or ‘HNW’ when they actually may be far from it.

What makes us most concerned is the reference to ‘the cost of raising the equity’ in the words of Stuart Lees. Clearly, capital drawn from the loan notes is presented as equity capital to the institutional providers of development finance, such as Topland Jupiter. However, this is not equity, rather very expensive short-term debt. Further, claims that the institutional development loans can refinance the short-term debt are illogical, given that development loan proceeds are not drawn clean in the account of the borrower, rather paid directly to contractors on presentation of QS certificates.


The regulator really should have shut them down. Its same junk as Gavin Woodhouse.

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