Blackstone has acquired a majority stake in SPANX, Inc, a ‘mission-driven’ womenswear brand founded by Sara Blakely in 2000, at a valuation of $1.2 billion – with Blakely maintaining a significant equity stake in the business.
Blakely, along with SPANX’s existing senior management team, will continue to oversee daily operations, and at closing, Blakely will become the Executive Chairwoman. 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 companies intend to create an all-female SPANX board of directors as they align to help empower women globally.
This acquisition is the culmination of an unprecedented journey for Blakely and SPANX. SPANX was founded by Blakely 21 years ago when she took USD5,000 in savings and set out to take on the male-dominated shapewear and undergarment industry. Blakely, who had never taken a business class in her life and was selling fax machines door to door at the time, wrote her own patent and invented the first SPANX undergarment in her apartment. Without ever taking any outside investment, she went on to turn SPANX into a global powerhouse that has changed the lives of women all over the world. Blakely has been named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the world and was featured on the cover of Forbes magazine as the youngest self-made female billionaire. Through her personal foundation, Blakely has given millions of dollars to help elevate other women and in 2013 she signed the Giving Pledge, promising to donate half her wealth to philanthropy.
“This is a really important moment in time for female entrepreneurs,” Blakely says. “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. At SPANX, we have always put the customer at the centre of what we do. I am as excited today for the future of SPANX as I was when I started it 21 years ago. 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!”
Read more/Source: Private Equity Wire
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