LDC Sells UK2 Stake to E-Commerce Firm The Hut Group

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Private equity firm LDC has sold its stake in U.K. hosting provider UK2 Group to e-commerce firm The Hut Group (THG) for an undisclosed amount.

According to a statement, THG will leverage its stake in UK2 to support its existing proprietary e-commerce platform.

Founded in 2004, THG originally provided white label e-commerce website for grocery stores, but now its proprietary e-commerce platform is used by health and beauty brands. Today THG’s platform manages over 100 websites in the health and beauty industry. THG says its “in-house platform combines five unique skills for online retail: cross-channel digital marketing, customer data science, artificial intelligence, internationalization and direct to consumer fulfillment.”

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THG also plans to invest heavily in the existing UK2 management team and employee base of 200 people to support growth while continuing to offer UK2’s services to existing clients. With the acquisition of UK2, THG will employ around 600 technology staff.

“This is a significant technology investment to support our growth plans and provide a world class proprietary ecommerce platform and infrastructure to increase capacity, speed and resilience for our global customer base,” Matthew Moulding, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Hut Group said. “We are delighted to welcome UK2 and their highly skilled technology-based team of people to THG. The move will also see UK2 become a core part of our Technology proposition within the THG Platform Division, helping us achieve our ambition of becoming a world class platform for technology clients. We expect this to be the start of further significant investment in UK technology with a further 1,000 new technology jobs planned over the next three years.”

LDC acquired its stake in UK2 back in 2011, paying about $77 million for its majority stake. UK2 operates 7 brands including 100TB, a provider of dedicated servers, UK2.net, Midphase, Resell.biz, Westhost, Virtual Internet and VPS.net.

“After a six year journey with LDC, this is an excellent outcome for employees, management, customers and shareholders, and an ideal strategic fit for both businesses,” Simon Adcock, Senior Portfolio Director at LDC who has led the process, said in a statement. “For an ambitious, technology-led group like THG, hosting is mission-critical – UK2 provides a well-invested, plug-in capability to strengthen and enhance their existing infrastructure and support their growth. We wish the business every success for the future.”

LDC will continue to hold its stake in UK2 Group’s e-sports business Digital Chaos.

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