Yellow Wood to Buy Dr. Scholl’s from Bayer
US private equity group Yellow Wood Partners has agreed to acquire the Dr. Scholl’s footcare business from Bayer for $585 million. Following completion of the transaction in this year’s fourth quarter, the investor plans to create a standalone company to operate it.
Yellow Wood said the footcare brand, which had 2018 sales of $234 million, “fits extremely well” with its consumer-focused business model, and it plans to take money in hand to expand it.
The 110-year-old brand the German group picked up in the 2014 acquisition of US Merck’s consumer health portfolio, is focused on North America. Reckitt Benckiser owns the Scholl footcare business outside that region.
Bayer is selling several businesses to concentrate on its ethical and over-the-counter drugs businesses and to pay down debt taken on for the Monsanto acquisition. The German group may also need cash to settle some of the more than 13,000 lawsuits it faces over Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.
The Boston-based investor will take over Bayer’s 30 dedicated employees in the US and Canada, including staff in sales and marketing, research & development.
“Since Bayer took ownership of Dr. Scholl’s in late 2014, we have made progress in revitalizing the brand and developing an exciting pipeline of innovative products,” said Heiko Schipper, a member of the Bayer managing board and head of consumer health care.
In May, Bayer sold sun care products manufacturer Coppertone – another former Merck brand – to German cosmetics group Beiersdorf for $550m. It has not yet concluded the planned sale of its animal health business.