GHD owner in £165m fundraising

Umar Khan, commercial finance manager at GHD
Umar Khan, commercial finance manager at GHD
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The private equity firm behind Leeds-based hair straightener company GHD has secured a £165m fundraising.

Lion Capital said the proceeds will be used to repay all of GHD’s borrowings, repay some of its shareholder loans and cover fees.

GHD, which is short for ‘good hair day​’, was acquired by Lion Capital for £300m from Montagu Private Equity in February​ 2013.

The group operates in around 14 countries​ and is understood to be working on plans to more than double its global reach by selling its products in 40 countries​.

​GHD was founded in January 2001 by ​three​ entrep​r​eneurs, Martin Penny, Gary Douglas and Robert Powls. ​Mr Powls gained his experience in the hairdressing industry, having worked as a stylist and then the owner of three salons.

He recognised a gap in the market and when a friend suggested he take a look at a new flat iron he had been sent from a South Korean inventor, he snapped it up.

He approached Mr Douglas and Mr Penny and together they acquired the rights for the iron, later creating the GHD brand name.

​GHD hair straighteners were met with huge approval. Initially there was a reluctance to pay almost £100 for a pair, but celebrity endorsements from actresses ​​Jennifer ​Aniston​,​​ ​Cameron Diaz​ and ​Gwyneth Paltro​w​​ and ​singer turned designer ​Victoria Beckham ​​changed this perception.