British tech firm founder says he’s given $1.3B in shares to employees

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The founder of a thriving British tech firm has doled out more than $1 billion to lucky employees in the past decade, making dozens of them millionaires, according to a report.

Matt Moulding, who founded Manchester-based The Hut Group in 2004, said roughly 430 employees at the e-commerce company have received free shares in the past 10 years — including managers, secretaries and warehouse workers, The Mirror reported Wednesday.

“We have created more millionaires than any other company in British corporate history,” Moulding, 48, said in an exclusive interview. “The shares are 100% gifted, no one has to pay anything. We have genuinely changed so many lives.”

The 74 newfound millionaires within the company’s ranks is also set to rise as $233,827,475 of the total pot of shares set aside for staff – roughly $1,336,157,000 – has yet to be handed out, according to the report.

Moulding, whose 25% stake in one of Britain’s biggest tech firms is worth about $2.1 billion, saw a massive windfall of his own after a surge in Hut Group’s share price led to a payout of $1.1 billion.

“I’m doing this because I’m passionate about it,” Moulding told The Mirror. “There is a lot of focus around what my wealth may be, but the amount of money we have shared is off the chart.”

Moulding, a father of four, said he also plans to donate his entire salary in excess of $1,000,000 to charity.

The Hut Group, perhaps best known for its Myprotein fitness supplements, operates more than 150 websites for fashion, beauty and nutrition suppliers, Forbes reported last month. The outlet first dubbed Moulding a billionaire in September following The Hut Group’s IPO.

The company, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, is currently worth $8.4 billion, The Mirror reported.

One worker who received shares worth about $81,500 said he plans to use it to finance his children’s future.

“It has changed our lives,” the unidentified married father of two said. “It’s something you dream about.”

Another employee, a senior manager who started as an apprentice, also sold roughly $133,000 worth of the shares to finance his wedding and put down a deposit on a “dream” home. The 30-year-old still has shares worth about $801,000, according to the report.

“I am from a working-class family and this is amazing, and humbling,” the manager who declined to identify himself said. “I have young children and this will allow me to help my children.”

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