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Yellow Wood Partners acquires Scholl

Yellow Wood Partners (Yellow Wood), a Boston-based private equity firm focused on investing in consumer brands and companies, has completed the previously announced acquisition of the Scholl footcare brand, which operates globally outside of the Americas, from UK-based Reckitt. 

The acquisition reunites the international Scholl with the Dr Scholl’s sold in the America’s after 30+ years of separate ownership and creates the leading global footcare brand operating as an integrated business in 50+ countries with annual retail sales exceeding USD700 million. 

Dana Schmaltz, Partner of Yellow Wood, says: “As part of Yellow Wood’s ‘preparation to meet opportunity,’ we began speaking with Reckitt upon completion of the Dr Scholl’s transaction in 2019 and subsequently entered into exclusive negotiations to combine the businesses. We are very excited to reunite the global Scholl brand after more than 30 years as separate operating businesses. There are substantial growth opportunities, including bringing already formulated Scholl footcare products to the America’s from Europe and continuing to build the ecommerce business. The acquisition is another successful Yellow Wood carve-out from a large international CPG firm. We enjoyed working with the Reckitt team as we have the operating capability and investment expertise to work closely with corporate business development teams to make these carve outs as seamless as possible. We appreciate the strong expertise that the Reckitt team brought to this process.” 

Tad Yanagi, Partner at Yellow Wood, says: “At Yellow Wood we invest the time and capital in data analytics to understand consumers and consumption patterns in order to acquire companies that provide affordable luxury and immediate efficacy.  Since the successful creation of a standalone Dr Scholl’s business in a carve out from Bayer in 2019, the business has performed remarkably well. We have worked to make the brand more relevant with younger consumers, with the successful acceleration of new product launches and significant investments in advertising which has increased the brand’s connection with consumers across digital and social media platforms. We have also built out the company’s ecommerce capabilities which has dramatically increased our ecommerce business at Target, Walmart, and Amazon. We are proud of our sustainability initiative which removed 400,000 tons of plastic from the system. The newly combined business serves as a strong platform for continued growth.” 

The Dr Scholl’s brand is a category leader at major bricks and mortar and ecommerce retailers in the US. Similarly, the Scholl brand is a category leader in various regions such as France, Italy, Germany, the UK, Australia and many other markets outside of North America with deep penetration at both major retailers and independent pharmacies across Europe.  In addition to its footcare products, the Scholl brand provides a diversified portfolio of skin care products, insoles, and treatment solutions for targeted foot conditions. 

Guy Phillips from Spayne Lindsay & Co LLP, and Sawaya Partners, LLC acted as financial advisers for the transaction. Fried Frank provided legal counsel to Yellow Wood on the transaction. 

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