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Today's business and finance round up 5th August 2021

💄Online beauty giant grows with £275m deal

5th August 2021

Good morning The dream of having your Amazon parcel delivered by drone may be over. The company is reported to have downsized its operations at the Prime Air HQ in Cambridge suggesting that plans for UK drone delivery may have been grounded.

Today's stories

  • Online beauty giant grows with £275m deal

  • Gov could block takeover of British chip designer

Yesterday's market moves

FTSE 100  +0.3% 7,124 FTSE 250 +0.3% 23,348

The FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 both rose for a third consecutive session on another day dominated by company earnings and continued fears over the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

ECOMMERCEOnline beauty giant grows with £275m deal

What’s going on?Ecommerce cosmetics giant, The Hut Group (THG), has bought British online beauty retailer Cult Beauty for £275m. Since debuting on the London stock market last September in a £5bn listing, THG has been on a spending spree, buying businesses worth over £850m in total.

Why is this important?

THG sells nutrition, vitamins and beauty products online and owns brands such as Lookfantastic and Glossybox. Two months ago it struck a deal with Japanese tech group SoftBank that provided it with a $1bn purse for strategic acquisitions. Cult Beauty was founded in 2008 and stocks 300 independent cosmetic brands including Charlotte Tilbury, Molton Brown and Huda Beauty.It’s built a strong following of customers searching for emerging, independent brands.THG said it saw a great opportunity to grow Cult Beauty internationally, with less than half of its sales currently from outside the UK. It expects Cult Beauty to add £140m in sales for the next full year.

TakeawayThis deal is the latest in a long line of activity in the online beauty space.Last week, French cosmetics giant Sephora, bought Feelunique, for £132m. Last month Revolution Beauty listed on the London Stock Exchange and BeautyBay, another player in the sector, is currently preparing to go public.

TECHGov could block takeover of British chip designer

The UK government is considering preventing the acquisition of British tech company Arm by US chipmaker Nvidia on the grounds of national security.The $40bn deal was announced back in September but has been heavily scrutinised by the authorities in the US, UK, EU and China. No final decision has been taken and it’s not completely clear how it could harm UK national security but sources close to matter say it’s not looking good.Arm designs rather than manufactures chips - the essential components in the “brain” of every electronic device in the world. Its designs are core to most of the world’s smartphones and its growing its presence in computing competing with the likes of Intel.Cambridge-based company was bought by Japanese tech group Softbank for £24bn in 2016 making it the biggest ever UK tech deal.The possible Nvidia deal has raised concerns from Arm customers like Google and Microsoft who are concerned that it would allow Nvidia to limit supply or increase prices.This is all the more in focus as we are in the midst of a global chip shortage which is having huge impacts on the production of cars, phones and electronics.

Stat of the day

Rihanna has been declared a billionaire by Forbes magazine with a net worth of $1.7bn, making her the world's richest female musician

Other stories to keep you in the loop

  • Petrol prices hit eight-year high fuelled by recovery-driven oil demand

  • WhatsApp launches its ‘View Once’ disappearing photos and videos

  • Spain’s La Liga agrees €2.7bn deal with private equity firm CVC

  • US trading app, Robinhood, shares surge 80% amid frenzied trading

  • Investment giant, Vanguard, will pay vaccinated workers $1,000

  • Sony profits soar as it benefits from home entertainment boom

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