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Munchkin-parent WHY Brands lines up acquisitions

May 14, 2024
A group of children playing.

Photo: Courtesy of WHY Brands

WHY Brands went on a $70 million acquisition spree last year and is preparing to announce deals tied to breastfeeding and infant nutrition, CEO Steven Dunn tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: Retailers such as Kohl's and Amazon are increasingly turning to the baby products category for growth.

Catch up quick: Earlier this year, parent company WHY was formed — with baby lifestyle brand Munchkin and home goods business Curio as divisions — to create a platform for M&A, Dunn explains.

Zoom in: The transactions, which will herald WHY's entry into two new categories, will be financed from cash flow, he says.

By the numbers: Privately-owned WHY, which has no significant outside investors such as private equity, has about $300 million in revenue, Dunn says.

  • Currently, 75% of revenue is generated in the U.S., but the goal is to boost overseas sales, he says.
  • Munchkin's products are sold in retailers like Walmart, Target and Amazon, while Curio is DTC and slowly expanding into retail.

The intrigue: "Now we're much larger than Gerber, Playtex, or Evenflow in the baby space," Dunn says.

What's next: WHY's "plate is full" with existing acquisitions, but it is opportunistically interested in home goods, pet and elderly care products, Dunn says.

  • Further down the road the company is willing to consider all opportunities to create shareholder value including an IPO, but there are no set plans, he says.

Flashback: Munchkin was founded by Dunn 30 years ago, having raised $2.3 million from family and friends, the CEO says.

  • A pension fund owned a minority stake but exited it during the pandemic.
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