Entrepreneur Matthew Moulding is set for one of the biggest payouts in UK corporate history after the success of his online retailer The Hut Group.
Mr Moulding will get £830m in shares after THG hit valuation targets since its stock market flotation this year.
The 48-year-old, who has described his background as “typical working class” from Burnley, runs more than 100 websites, including health and beauty.
The payouts are based on a sliding scale as THG shares soar.
The firm, whose websites include the Lookfantastic beauty products business, only listed on the London stock market in September at 500p a share.
But the price has surged, triggering a series of payments as the market valuation approached £6.25bn. Mr Moulding will get even more if THG’s valuation reaches £7.25bn within three years.
He founded the Manchester-based business in 2004 selling CDs. It now sells a range of consumer goods, from cosmetics to protein supplements. THG also powers the websites of major brands, including Honda, Boots and Nestle.
Mr Moulding’s payout dwarfs the £323m awarded to Denise Coates, the billionaire boss of gambling firm Bet365, in 2018.
In addition to the share payouts, Mr Moulding will receive a basic salary of £750,000 a year, up from the £318,000 he took in 2019. However, since the flotation, he has committed to donating salary payments to charity.
Hitting the valuation targets also means big pay-days for other THG executives, including finance director John Gallemore and commercial director Steven Whitehead.
A spokesman for THG said: “We are delighted with the market reaction to our IPO and that all of our shareholders are benefiting from the strong performance of the business.
“The equity scheme was put in place when THG was a private company, and we are delighted that over 200 THG staff have already shared in the scheme, worth around £200m today.”
THG had several retail veterans as early investors, all of whom have benefitted from the company’s stock market flotation, which was one of the biggest in London for several years.
Former Tesco boss Terry Leahy, the former Matalan and Asda boss Angus Monro, former Debenhams boss Terry Green, and Scottish retail entrepreneur Tom Hunter, all had multimillion-pound stakes.
Mr Moulding’s payout has, however, been criticised. Luke Hildyard, the director of campaign group the High Pay Centre, a campaign group, said: “Payments worth hundreds of millions of pounds are far more than any individual needs or could possibly ever spend, and will strengthen the argument for more effective taxation of corporations and the super-rich.”
He also criticised the company’s remuneration committee, saying: “As is often the case, THG’s remuneration committee is comprised of other serving executives who personally benefit from the prevailing culture of excessive top pay, and have no incentive to think critically about its costs and benefits – to the business or wider society.”