The influx of cash presented opportunities for more expansion. One of Conair’s first big moves was the acquisition of Zotos International, the pioneer of the “cold-wave perm” and a major player in the quickly expanding professional haircare industry. The year was 1983; the price was $71 million. One year later, Business Week listed Conair as one of its 1984 Corporate Leaders. Out of 1,200 companies, Conair ranked #11 in the “Rate of Return” category, with a return on common equity of 37.1%. In the study’s “5-Year Earnings Growth” category, it did even better. Conair showed a staggering annual growth in earnings per share, from 1980–1984, of 74.5%, earning it the #10 ranking! In just 24 years, the company that had started out in a little house on
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Avenue T in Brooklyn had a hair dryer starring in Warren Beatty’s movie, Shampoo, and Joe Namath and Sergio Franchi starring in its ad campaigns. Conair had become one of the most recognized and respected names in professional and consumer haircare.