In one of the biggest recent cases of an established firm buying an eCommerce rival, Edgewell Personal Care reportedly plans to buy shaving startup Harry’s. The anticipated deal is said to be for roughly $1.37 billion in stock and cash, The New York Times reported.
Harry’s and Edgewell executives told the newspaper they saw an opportunity to create a new and large consumer products firm with new ways to reach customers (as well as global reach). Edgewell Chief Executive Rod Little said, according to the report, “We’ve had an interesting product portfolio, but we’ve lacked a way to communicate with the consumer.”
The combined company would still be a “distant second” to Gillette from Procter & Gamble, which commanded 47.3 percent of the American market in 2018 per Euromonitor data. By comparison, the “top brands” of Edgewell had approximately 13.6 percent of the market while Harry’s held roughly 2.6 percent.
Edgewell Personal Care, which is based in Shelton, Conn., owns the razor brands of Wilkinson and Schick in addition to Hawaiian Tropic. And Harry’s sells razors, lotions and face washes in addition to the Flamingo line of women’s razors and waxes through the web directly to shoppers.
The news comes after news surfaced last year that Harry’s was looking to grow its brand beyond men’s grooming. The move, it was said at the time, could provide competition for large conglomerates like Procter & Gamble. “We’ve built a lot of infrastructure at Harry’s that we think we can leverage into new categories,” Jeff Raider, a Harry’s founder, told The New York Times that February. “It’s something that we’ve been excited about for a long time, and we’re now at a point in our business where we can act on it.”
Harry’s, along with rivals like the Dollar Shave Club, have built their businesses on a subscription model. They market their men’s grooming selections to younger consumers through the web to gain market share from more established players like Schick and Gillette.