Blackstone takes controlling stake in Spanx, founder Blakely to stay at helm
Spanx, the “mission-driven” women’s shapewear brand founded by Sara Blakely in 2000, has announced a "definitive agreement for a majority investment from funds managed by Blackstone”.
The investment firm has agreed to buy a majority stake in the company at a valuation of $1.2 billion – with Blakely maintaining a “significant” equity stake in the business.
Blakely and existing senior management will stay in charge of the firm and once the deal is closed, she’ll become Executive Chairwoman.
The company said the acquisition “will enable Spanx to accelerate its already rapid digital transformation and strong online presence in the e-commerce channel, expand its global footprint, and fuel its commitment to creating innovative, ground-breaking products for its customers across even more categories”.
The firm and its new owner also “intend to create an all-female Spanx board of directors as they align to help empower women globally”.
Spanx was founded 21 years ago with just $5,000 of Blakely’s savings. Without ever taking any outside investment, she turned it into a global powerhouse and shook up the shapewear market.
“This is a really important moment in time for female entrepreneurs,” she said. “I started this company with no business experience and very little money, but I cared the most about the customer, and that gave me the courage to launch the company. Now together with Blackstone, we will have even more opportunity to further our mission of making the world a better place… one butt at a time.”
Ann Chung, Global Head of Consumer for Blackstone Growth (BXG), said: “Sara is an iconic businesswoman who bootstrapped Spanx into not only a category creator and household name, but also a symbol of authenticity, confidence building and female empowerment.”
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