The UK’s leading hair extensions company Racoon International – whose products are used by celebrities including Sophie Anderton, Denise Van Outen, Jade Jagger and Sharon Osbourne – has undergone a management buy-out.
The Southam-based company is recognised as the manufacturer of choice by hairdressers, celebrities and consumers alike and supplies its products through 2,000 appointed salons in the UK and business partners in 14 other countries.
The deal gives control of the business to husband and wife team Eva and Steve Proudman. Rob Britton and Martin Poole of Clearwater Corporate Finance advised the couple on the MBO, which was carried out with backing from private equity firm Matrix and debt funding from Barclays Bank.
Launched in 1993, Racoon supplies hair extension kits and associated products and provides training for hairdressers in its appointed salons. It has seen its sales and distribution increase year on year and its extensions are now sold in the UK, America, Australia, Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. The deal will allow the company to expand both at home and overseas.
Eva Proudman began working with the company in 2003 as a quality consultant, helping it to become the first hair extensions manufacturer to win accreditation to the international quality standard ISO 9001. She was appointed as general manager in 2004 and a year later was joined by her husband Steve Proudman in an IT consultancy role.
Eva now becomes managing director of Racoon International while Steve is operations director. She says: “We are completely focused on building the Racoon brand and the management buy-out has provided us with fresh ideas and opportunities. Our plans include new product development, expansion in the international marketplace and increasing sales in the UK. However as a key part of our growth strategy, we will continue to listen carefully to the requirements of our two main client groups, the hairdressers and the consumers.”
Rob Briitton, partner with Clearwater Corporate Finance, said: “By concentrating on product quality, high service levels and comprehensive training support, Racoon has become the UK leader in its field, with products sold in the major professional salon chains and a celebrity clientele. The company has a thriving export trade and huge growth potential. The deal will allow the management to pursue rapid expansion in international markets whilst also driving footfall in the UK salons through a strong consumer marketing campaign.”