Reckitt Benckiser (RB), a British producer of consumer goods, is selling the footcare brand Scholl to Yellow Wood Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm which already owns Dr. Scholl’s.
The sale includes RB’s Amopé, Krack and Eulactol footcare brands and is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2021. No financial details were released and the execution of the transaction is subject to consultation with RB’s works council in France.
The acquisition would reunite Scholl with the Dr. Scholl’s brand after over 30 years of separate ownership. The combined business generates annual retail sales exceeding $700 million, according to Yellow Wood.
Yellow Wood claims that Dr. Scholl’s is a category leader at major brick-and-mortar and e-commerce retailers in the U.S. Meanwhile, Scholl is a category leader in various regions such as France, Italy, Germany, the U.K., Australia and many other markets outside of North America with “a 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 foot conditions.
“This transaction provides us with a unique opportunity to create a global brand as an undisputed leader in the footcare category” with a presence in over 50 countries, said Dana Schmaltz, a partner of Yellow Wood.
Dr. William Matthias Scholl started the brand in 1906. It has been owned by a number of multi-national corporations over the last 50 years, and rights to the brand were divided amongst the Americas and the rest of the world over 30 years ago. The German pharmaceutical and chemical group Bayer bought the Dr. Scholl’s Americas business in 2014 as part of its acquisition of Merck & Co.’s consumer health unit. Yellow Wood acquired rights to the Dr. Scholl’s brand in the Americas in 2019 from Bayer and established the Scholl’s Wellness Company. RB has owned the rights to the Scholl brand outside the Americas since its 2010 acquisition of SSL International.