Cosmetics giant Coty confirms GHD takeover

Rebecca Smith
GHD's sales jumped 9.5 per cent last year to £181.2m
GHD's sales jumped 9.5 per cent last year to £181.2m (Source: Getty)

American cosmetics giant Coty has announced a £420m takeover of British-based hair products manufacturer GHD.

Coty – whose brand portfolio spans Rimmel, CoverGirl and OPI – said that GHD's high-performance lines of hair straighteners, hairdryers, curlers and other appliances would "further strengthen" its position in the professional hair category.

Coty's chief executive Camillo Pane said: "Not only do we expect GHD to strengthen our professional hair portfolio and enable Coty to provide even better hair solutions, but we also believe there is strong growth for GHD across several markets."

The US giant is believed to have seen off competition for the hair care company from CVC Capital Partners and Panasonic.

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GHD was put up for sale in June by private equity owner Lion Capital, with bankers Rothschild appointed to oversee an auction of the hair care company. Lion picked up GHD from Montagu Private Equity for £300m in 2013. Montagu had coughed up £160m for the firm in 2007 and then doubled profits to more than £32m on revenues of £150m.

The firm supplies products to a range of celebrities, from Katy Perry to Jennifer Aniston, and made £33.7m in pre-tax profit for the 2015-16 financial year.

It was launched back in 2001 from Bradford, West Yorkshire. The firm then acquired the rights to a Korean-developed hair straightening iron, revolutionising the hair straightening process, which could previously only be achieved through salon chemical treatments. GHD now creates an extensive range of straighteners, curling products and hairdryers.

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It has been run by Anthony Davey – a former Procter & Gamble (P&G) executive – since 2014.

Coty has been busy of late – it recently completed its merger with P&G's specialist beauty business, with brands including Hugo Boss, Max Factor and Lacoste. Coty said that deal made it the third-largest beauty company in the world with approximately $9bn in revenue.

The US-based cosmetics group is chaired by Bart Becht, the former chief executive of Reckitt Benckiser.

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