The acquisitive Hut Group has added cult cosmetics brand Illamasqua to its fast-growing beauty empire.

The online health and beauty retailer snapped up the make-up brand from co-owners Julian Kynaston and Agent Provocateur founder Joseph Corré in a deal understood to be worth £25m.

Established by Kynaston in 2008, Illamasqua has branded stores in Leeds, Liverpool and London. It is also stocked in Selfridges and 15 Debenhams stores, and sells online via both a standalone site and The Hut Group’s

It comes amid an investment drive for The Hut, which is busily growing its international beauty offer.

Last month it splashed out on luxury skincare brand Espa in a deal thought to be worth over £100m and, a few weeks previously, acquired Glossybox.

The health and beauty giant’s portfolio also includes Mio Skincare, Mama Mio, My Protein and Grow Gorgeous.

Its founder and chief executive Matthew Moulding said: “In Illamasqua’s unwavering commitment to professional, high-quality products and creativity, not to mention its strong identity, we saw a business with a unique proposition and an opportunity to take a strong and dynamic brand to the next level.

“We are confident that, with our world-class ecommerce platform and large marketing infrastructure, we will deliver significant growth and further extend Illamasqua’s global customer base.

“This investment is another step in our ambition of becoming the world’s largest online retailer of Health & Beauty products by 2018.”

In the year to December 31, 2016, the fast-growing etailer’s sales advanced 50% to £501m.

Illamasqua, which has upheld a strong commitment to never permit animal testing on any of its products, has a theatrical heritage and is well known for its bold colours and campaigns to celebrate diversity.