LION Capital, one of the private equity firms that owns Findus, the frozen food company at the centre of the horse meat scandal, yesterday swooped on hair straightener maker GHD in a £300 million deal.
Montagu Private Equity is understood to have booked a three-fold return on its investment after selling Jemella Group – which trades as Good Hair Day or GHD – to Lion. Profits at GHD, which sells hair styling irons and dryers through salons, have doubled under Montagu’s ownership to £32m last year on the back of £150m-worth of sales.
Simon Pooler, director at Montagu Private Equity, said: “We are very proud to have partnered with the company over the past six years. We were originally attracted by the strength of the GHD brand and its remarkable customer loyalty.” In a separate statement, Lion said: “We are deeply concerned that Findus, a company in which Lion is a minority shareholder, has been subject to the supply of horse meat into the food chain.
“We encourage strongly the chairman, Dale Morrison, and the management team of Findus to give full and total clarity to all of the details surrounding the supply of frozen meals from Comigel.”