Arbuthnot Commercial ABL completes £5.5m refinance package with Bleach London to support international growth
Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending has provided a £5.5m refinance facility to support the continued rapid growth of Bleach London, a producer and distributor of branded hair dyes and related products. The flexible funding package comprises a revolving invoice discounting line and a Recovery Loan Scheme term loan.
The meteoric rise of the hair brand Bleach London was described by Time Out as the salon that “pioneered the dip-dye, then conquered the globe”. The Bleach concept was created in 2010 by Alex Brownsell, one of the world’s most respected names in hair artistry, who developed the bleaching method in her hair salon in Dalston. To date, the company has sold over £30m worth of products in the UK alone to retailers such as Boots, Cult Beauty, and ASOS.
The coveted Bleach brand, regularly featured in Vogue, Dazed, I-D, and others, paired with its ground-breaking approach, is ushering in a new era in digital beauty and home hair dyeing. Bleach’s products are sustainable with the range being vegan, cruelty-free, and PETA approved.
Bleach’s D2C business grew by 600% in 2020 alone and continues to expand its brand presence through high-profile fashion magazine publicity and celebrity endorsements from the likes of Harry Styles, Alexa Chung, and Lily Allen. New market launches, including the U.S., where the business has recently opened a new salon in Los Angeles and won another significant contract with Walmart, all reinforce Bleach’s position as a leader in the £40bn hair colourant category.
Commenting on the transaction, Carrie Hutchison, CFO at Bleach London, said: “We had fallen out of love with our previous funding partner, and we were looking for a new one that would provide us with a higher level of flexibility to support our steep growth trajectory. For a business in a high investment, high growth phase, we were finding the covenants we had with our old provider increasingly restrictive. Working with Arbuthnot Commercial ABL gives us more stretch and provides us with a liquidity headroom which is easier to manage than having to hit a specific EBITDA target.
“Arbuthnot Commercial ABL has succeeded in structuring a facility that will enable us to stay true to our growth. The higher level of funding enables us to pile in marketing investment to drive the top line. Having the UK facility nailed down has enabled us to achieve a real step-change in the business so that we can concentrate on our expansion in the U.S. While Arbuthnot has traditional roots, our relationship is distinctly modern. The team is flexible, personable and easy to work with and the technology platform is also excellent.”
Andrew Rutherford, Commercial Director at Arbuthnot Commercial ABL, said: “It is exciting to have the opportunity to work with a boundary-breaking, fast-growth business such as Bleach London. We responded to a clear mandate by structuring a flexible facility at a quantum that will enable the dynamic and creative management team to achieve the next level of growth, underpinned by responsive service and state-of-the-art technology.”