About the company

Barber is a wholesale supplier of medical consumable products to 3 core markets: body art (tattoo and piercing); veterinary supplies; and autopsy and mortuary products.

Body art is the largest area of the business and has been the key driver of growth. Barber and its associated brand, DTS, are now one of the largest suppliers of body art products in the UK. Barber has a reputation for quality products and strong ethics in an industry which is largely unregulated.

The majority of Barbers customers are UK tattoo studios rather than DIY tattoo enthusiasts. As a result the majority of sales are direct to customers via its brochure or transactional website rather than through retail sites such as Ebay or Amazon.

Barber was acquired from its founders, Tony and Stephanie Crane (husband and wife), on 28th March 2012. The transaction is to provide the Cranes with a partial realisation now and a significant stake in the business going forward. The Cranes will continue to run the business as CEO and sales director respectively and will work with PHD/EV towards building greater management depth in the business leading up to an eventual exit.


  • Investment Company

    Barber of Sheffield
  • Type of Investment

    Development Capital/Cash Out
  • Investment Amount

  • Date of Investment

    March 2012

Investment rationale

Barber is an attractive asset supplying consumable products to a very broad customer base. The acquisition was appealing because the business that demonstrated consistent sales and profit growth.

Prior to its investment, PHD had been talking to Barber for almost three years and so has been able to “track” the performance of the business. Having spent time with the Cranes over the last few years we are highly enthusiastic about growing the business and generating further capital value.

PHD Contacts