eCommerce giant THG has rejected a £2.07 billion takeover bid from two investment firms.

Belerion Capital Group and King Street Capital Management offered 170 pence per share for the Manchester-headquartered company, which joined the London Stock Exchange in a headline-grabbing IPO in 2020.

Iain McDonald, a non-executive director of THG, is a co-founder and chief investment officer at Belerion.

The news was revealed in a statement to the LSE following the close of the markets on Thursday, with THG’s shares down 4% on that day to 116p. THG’s shares were valued at 625p when it floated in September 2020.

“The board of THG considered the proposal, together with its financial and legal advisers, and concluded that it significantly undervalued the company and its future prospects, and accordingly unanimously rejected the proposal,” read a THG statement.

In the first 90 minutes of trading on Friday, its shares leapt to 144p.

That was possibly due in part to notification of a separate bid from Candy Ventures, a VC firm controlled by property tycoon Nick Candy.

He has until June 16th to make a formal bid. “Following the recent press speculation regarding THG plc, Candy Ventures Sarl confirms that it is in the very early stages of considering a possible offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of the company,” read a statement from the VC.

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THG’s share price has sunk in the last six months following investor disquiet and criticism from both the media and city over founder Matthew Moulding’s original decision to operate as both CEO and executive chair.

In October 2021 the company announced that it would split the dual roles and initiated an international search for an independent chair, eventually appointing Charles Allen, Lord Allen of Kensington CBE, in March.

Founded in 2004, THG now operates 18 fulfilment sites and 300 localised websites globally across sectors including nutrition and beauty.

It also operates an end-to-end tech platform for clients.