Case Studies

Case Study: ghd

The Company:

ghd (an acronym of good hair day) is the market leader in premium hair styling irons, complementary wet products and other hair styling accessories which are sold throughout over 50,000 professional salons globally

Added Value:

  • In 2006 Chief Executive and Founder Martin Penny led a senior management team which, alongside LDC, acquired the entire share capital of Jemella Group, owner of the ghd brand which was a market-leading brand with rapid growth
  • The buy-out represented the next step in the brand’s development as it looked to replicate its success in the UK across the globe
  • Since the original investment LDC worked closely with the management team to review and re-focus its marketing strategy, assisted with the international expansion for entry into new geographies (France and Germany, and signed deals for ghd to be stocked in 25,000 shops in the US) and helped the team develop low risk margin enhancement strategies


  • In 2007 LDC sold its stake in Jemella Group, owner of the iconic female fashion brand ghd, as part of a £160m MBO
  • The buy-out was led by the business’ founder and CEO, Martin Penny with Montagu Private Equity acquiring a significant equity stake
  • During LDC’s investment of just over one year, employee numbers rose from 180 to 300 and turnover grew from £56m to £80m with profits growing from £8m (2006) to £16m (2007)
“Bringing on board an institutional investor of the calibre of LDC ensured we not only had the financial backing we needed but the operational expertise and strategic input to help us drive the business forward. “The success ghd’s management team enjoyed with LDC in terms of strategic input and operational expertise meant that the board once again chose to partner with private equity.”
Martin Penny, Chief Executive and Founder


  • 67% increase in employees
  • 100% profit growth
  • £91m shareholder value generated
  • £160m buy-out
  • Generated IRR of 230%