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Spanx sells majority stake to investment firm Blackstone

By Huw Hughes

21 Oct 2021

Business

Image: Spanx, Facebook

Spanx has sold a majority stake to private equity firm Blackstone in a deal that values the US shapewear brand at 1.2 billion dollars.

The Atlanta, Georgia-headquartered company said the acquisition will help accelerate its digital transformation, expand its global footprint, and add new categories.

Spanx founder Sara Blakely will retain “a significant equity stake” and will continue to oversee daily operations along with the brand’s senior management team.

She has also become executive chair of its newly appointed board, which the company said it aims to make all-female.

Blakely founded Spanx in 2000 with 5,000 dollars in savings and an aim to reimagine the male-dominated shapewear and undergarment industry.

Spanx secures majority investment to accelerate growth

“This is a really important moment in time for female entrepreneurs,” Blakely said in a release. “I started this company with no business experience and very little money, but I cared the most about the customer, and that gave me the courage to launch the company.”

She continued: “I am as excited today for the future of Spanx as I was when I started it 21 years ago. Now together with Blackstone, we will have even more opportunity to further our mission of making the world a better place - one butt at a time!”

The deal propels Blakely’s net worth to back above the 1 billion dollar threshold after the pandemic dragged it down in recent months, according to Forbes. She was named the world's youngest, self-made female billionaire by Forbes Magazine in 2012.

Ann Chung, global head of consumer for Blackstone Growth (BXG), said: “[Blakely] is an iconic businesswoman who bootstrapped Spanx into not only a category creator and household name, but also a symbol of authenticity, confidence-building and female empowerment.

“We’re honored that [Blakely] and her team have placed their trust in Blackstone as their partner of choice to further accelerate Spanx’s digital transformation and growth, and look forward to what the business will achieve with our full set of resources behind it.”