- Edgewell, the maker of Schick, Wilkinson Sword and Skintimate, has acquired DTC razor brand Billie for $310 million in cash. The deal has closed after being cleared under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, the company announced in a press release Monday.
- Billie will continue to be led by its co-founders, Georgina Gooley and Jason Bravman.
- The deal comes after the Federal Trade Commission moved to block two deals of similar nature: Edgewell's acquisition of Harry's and P&G's acquisition of Billie.
Almost two years after the FTC moved to block its acquisition of Harry's, Edgewell has moved onto the next, and this time succeeded in its acquisition.
The FTC in February 2020 sued to block the Harry's-Edgewell acquisition, arguing that the deal would "eliminate one of the most important competitive forces in the shaving industry" and "inflict significant harm on consumers of razors across the United States." Days later, Edgewell called off the deal.
But after being cleared under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, Billie is officially off the market.
"We are focused on our stated goal of building on our leading position in the women's shave category and executing on our M&A strategy with discipline and precision, both of which this acquisition accomplishes," Rod Little, Edgewell CEO and president, said in a statement. "Edgewell has been a strategic supplier to Billie since its inception, and we view this acquisition as a natural evolution of the partnership between our two companies." Little added that the acquisition elevates its position in the mid-tier value segment of women's shaving in the U.S., while at the same time, serves Billie well by being able to leverage Edgewell's distribution platform and marketing channels.
Billie was founded in 2017 and first launched as a subscription service, delivering shaving products for $9 a shipment. The DTC brand has since expanded its assortment to also include makeup wipes, body lotion, lip balms, dry shampoo and body wash. The acquisition, Little added, will help Billie expand its assortment further.
For the past decade, acquisitions have led DTC exits, with 114 reported last year, according to PitchBook. Acquisitions provide brands with the resources needed to scale their businesses, like access to new customers, new distribution channels and a more robust supply chain.
Billie, which has raised over $35 million as of 2019, according to data provided by PitchBook, is planning an expansion into brick and mortar early next year to help support its growth. The brand also recorded net revenues of $90 million in the year ended Sept. 30, with a compounded annual growth rate of about 50% over the last three years, according to a presentation from Edgewell.
"We are very excited to join the Edgewell organization and look forward to combining our resources and leveraging the Edgewell platform to accelerate growth and expand our retail reach," Bravman said in a statement. "As we begin our expansion into brick-and-mortar retail in the US, this is the perfect time for this business combination."