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- After signing a deal in July, Knix on Monday said its acquisition by Essity, an international health and hygiene brand, has closed. Essity acquired 80% of Knix’s shares for $320 million, the company said in a press release.
- Joanna Griffiths, the company’s founder and CEO, will remain as president of Knix and continue to manage the brand. Griffiths owns the remaining 20% of Knix’s shares.
- The acquisition values Knix at $400 million, according to the release. The brand said it now has more than 2 million customers.
Prior to the Essity deal, Knix used fundraising to scale the brand. In May 2021, the company raised $40 million from private equity firm TZP Group, model and entrepreneur Ashley Graham and other investors. The company said it would use the funds to build its brand, enhance its virtual fit program, expand its retail presence in North America and create new products.
About a year ago, the Canadian company launched its first physical stores in the US after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the brand to postpone its store launch plans and rethink its entry into the swimwear category. Knix made its US brick-and-mortar debut in Santa Monica, California, but the company already had two stores in Canada.
Knix isn’t the only leakproof underwear brand to get acquired this year. After making an initial investment in 2019, Kimberly-Clark, which owns Kleenex, Huggies and Kotex, acquired a majority stake in Knix competitor Thinx in February. A few months later, Maria Molland stepped down as Thinx CEO and was replaced by Johnson & Johnson executive Meghan Davis.
With the help of its new owner, Thinx this summer renamed its youth line of period underwear from “Thinx BTWN” to “Thinx Teens.” The company also reduced the price point for its teen collection to as low as $16 and planned to distribute the menstrual underwear via its own website, Target.com and Walmart.com.
Outside of period underwear, the broader DTC intimates market has seen a flurry of deals in the past year. In early October 2021, parade raised $20 million in Series B funding and announced plans to open its first offline “experience” in New York City. That same month, Blackstone bought a majority stake in Spanxwhich valued the womenswear brand at $1.2 billion.
This year in March, Victoria’s Secret Purchased a minority stake in swimwear brand Frankie’s Bikinis for $18 million. And the following month, DTC lingerie brand ThirdLove bought kit undergarments in its first acquisition, planning to relaunch the brand as Kit Undergarments for ThirdLove.