Gowling WLG advises The Hut Group on high-value investment transactions

10 May 2019

International law firm Gowling WLG has advised one of the world's largest online beauty and wellbeing retailers, The Hut Group (THG) on two major transactions, the corporate acquisition of Eclectic Hotel Group and its two prestigious boutique Manchester hotels, and on the development of the group's new content creation studio, ICON.

The acquisition of the two luxury hotels, King Street Townhouse and Great John Street Hotel, will form part of THG's growing marketing infrastructure, supporting the delivery of enhanced consumer experiences, influencer and brand-led events as well as content creation.

Located in Manchester city centre, the two hotels provide 70 rooms in total, combined with award-winning events and entertaining space, which include lounge and bar areas as well as rooftop terraces - both of which overlook Manchester's skyline.

A cross-disciplinary team led by partner Jeremy Millington, with support from corporate colleagues Senior Associate Christopher Letters and Associate Grace Humber, advised on the legal aspects of the hotel transaction. The team also included Partner Mike Trainer, Director Andrew Bennett, Principal Associate Cairo Nickolls and Senior Associate Robin Canning who covered real estate and planning aspects. Partner Zoe Fatchen and Principal Associate Tom Rank provided tax support; due diligence was provided by Director Greg Dunn and his team in transaction services; and Senior Associate Richard Crawley provided banking advice.

This deal followed THG's recent agreement for the development and delivery of a new facility at ICON Manchester Airport to expand THG's in-house content production capabilities. The ICON development will provide an extra 104,000 sq. ft. of office space over four floors as well as additional content creation facilities totalling 168,000 sq. ft.

Real Estate Partners Mike Trainer and Sarah Galvin led the team on the ICON transaction, with support from Principal Associate Simon Wade, Senior Associate Christopher Letters and Senior Associate Hannah Daeche.

Both deals form part of THG's growth strategy, with plans to investment over $1bn in the region over the next three years, cementing its position as a major player in the retail industry and a top employer in the UK.

These deals, both closed in the last month, highlight Gowling WLG's ability to deliver high quality, cross-sector expertise on high value and strategic transactions.

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