Chief Executive of GHD In Management Buyout
LONDON — GHD, or good hair day, the Leeds, U.K.-based hair-appliance brand has been bought out by its founder and chief executive, Martin Penny, in a deal backed by LDC, the private equity division of Lloyds TSB, which has an office in Leeds.

Penny and a senior management team acquired the entire share capital of Jemella Group, which owned the GHD brand. Industry sources suggest the deal was for about 55 million pounds, or $102 million. The deal “provides an exit for sleeping shareholders Gary Douglas and Robert Powls,” according to a statement from LDC, which also said the deal is part of a plan to grow GHD internationally.

“We are focused on building GHD into a global hair beauty brand,” said Penny, in the statement. “Joining forces with LDC provides fresh impetus for a management team that has worked hard to establish its success over the past six years. Key to our growth strategy is to ensure GHD remains a high-quality ‘must have’ product for both beauty-industry professionals and for consumers who want professional performance.”

GHD has developed a cult following for its ceramic hair straightening irons in the U.K. It’s also present in Australia, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, South Africa and the U.S.

Sales of GHD irons are forecast to reach 70 million pounds, or $129.5 million at current exchange, in 2006, up from 10 million pounds, or $18.6 million, in 2002.

GHD products are stocked in nearly 10,000 U.K. salons.

“The U.K. market continues to grow, and its salon distribution model has proven to be a key element in its success,” said Andy Ball, regional managing director of LDC. “There are huge opportunities in less-mature markets abroad, and the business is keen to capitalize on these whilst maintaining the brand’s core strengths.”
Brid Costello

L’Oréal Renews Share Buyback Plan
PARIS — L’Oréal has announced it will renew its share buyback program. The company’s board, under Lindsay Owen-Jones’ chairmanship, declared the completion of its previous share buyback program begun on June 29, 2005. The firm repurchased 18.81 million shares through the program for 1.25 billion euros, or $1.6 billion at current exchange. Over the next 12 months, L’Oréal plans to again buy back shares for 1.25 billion euros.

This story first appeared in the July 25, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

MAC Honors Makeup Artist
LOS ANGELES — MAC presented its inaugural MAC Salutes award to Academy Award-winning makeup artist Ve Neill at its Robertson Boulevard Pro Shop in Los Angeles earlier this month. Gregory Arlt, director of makeup artistry, presented Neill with a custom-made Me & Ro gold pendant to honor her work. “Ve’s work represents the breadth of what can be done with makeup, and we hope to celebrate the accomplishments of artists in all fields, theater, television and fashion, going forward,” said Peter Lichtenthal, MAC’s global general manager. Neill, a 30-year behind-the-scenes veteran, said she wasn’t used to being in the spotlight. “When they called to tell me I was getting an award, I said, ‘Why me?'” she laughed.

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