Harry's razor start-up bought by Edgewell for $1.4 billion

The shaving subscription brand also sells skin care and men's grooming accessories

Harry's 2018 summer campaign

Shaving start-up, and men’s care brand of the moment, Harry’s has been bought by Edgewell Personal Care for US$1.37bn.

The direct-to-consumer disruptor brand specialises in razor subscription services, known as ‘shave plans’, and brand ambassadors include England football captain Harry Kane.

The companies said the deal will create the next-generation of shaving brands and allow them to combine Harry’s experience in brand building with Edgwell’s technology and global scale.

According to Harry’s, more than three million people have used the products since its founding in 2013.

Brand founders Andy Katz-Mayfield and Jeff Raider, will join Edgewell’s executive team as co-presidents of US operations.

The duo said: “When we launched Harry's six years ago our vision was to create a grooming brand that better met our needs as consumers, and over time, a CPG [consumer packaged goods] platform that creates brands people love across more categories.

“Together with Edgewell, we see a significant opportunity to continue delivering on that vision, leveraging Edgewell's advanced technology and global footprint alongside our customer-first approach, brand building expertise and omni-channel capabilities.”

The purchase by Edgewell – which also owns Bulldog, Wilkinson Sword and Schick – trumps Unilever’s acquisition of rival start-up Dollar Shave Club for $1bn in 2016.

Harry’s will receive 79% of the transaction in case and 21% will be paid in Edgewell common stock, meaning the start-up’s shareholders will own 11% of the consumer goods group.

E-commerce insight company Edge by Ascential said the deal will enable Edgewell to ramp up its retail expansion.

“While Harry’s is a digitally-native brand, this strategic acquisition provides Edgewell with the potential for accelerated growth globally,” said Chris Perry, VP of Global Executive Education.

“In the US, it gives them an even more valuable partnership with Target, which has already brought Harry’s and several other direct-to-consumer brands exclusively in-store – ultimately at the expense of some traditional brand leaders – to differentiate their assortment and in-store shopper experience.

“This partnership model with Target is a powerful growth strategy that could be replicated in other markets, like the UK, with leading retailers.”

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