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Schick razors' maker expands empire after buying startup Harry's

Disposable razors
Photo: Shana Novak/Getty Images

Edgewell (NYSE: EPC), maker of Schick razors, agreed to buy shaving products company Harry's for $1.3 billion in cash and stock (79%/21% split).

Why it matters: Because it's a big pay-off for two moves considered high-risk at the time. First, Harry's at less than one year old taking out bank loans to pay $100 million for a German razor-making factory, rather than just outsourcing manufacturing (as Dollar Shave Club does). Second, jumping into the broader trend of direct-to-consumer startups expanding into multi-channel retail. A source close to the deal says that Harry's now trails just Gillette for in-store Walmart and Target men's shaving sales.

  • ROI: Harry's had raised $460 million in VC funding, most recently at a post-money valuation of between $800 million and $900 million. Backers include Thrive Capital, Tiger Global Management, Highland Capital Partners, BoxGroup, Alliance Consumer Growth, SV Angel, Red Swan Ventures, Temasek and Wellington Management.

The bottom line: This is more of a merger than an acquisition, with Harry's co-founders Andy Katz-Mayfield and Jeff Raider to run Edgewell's U.S. business, including a skin-care unit that included Hawaiian Tropic.