Schmidt’s is said to have hired Goldman Sachs to conduct a sale process, according to industry sources.
The business, which is best known for its natural deodorants, also makes soaps. Schmidt’s has about $45 million in sales, and is on track to double this year, according to industry sources, who said value expectations from the company are high, and indicated the transaction is likely to be a sale to a large strategic buyer or a minority private equity deal.
Goldman Sachs and Schmidt’s declined to comment for this story.
The news comes on the heels of Procter & Gamble’s acquisition of Native, a natural deodorant company that sources said has between $25 million and $30 million in sales, and has plans to expand into other product categories. Consumer interest in wellness has created a market for products like aluminum-free deodorants like the ones Native and Schmidt’s make. Other brands in the category include Ursa Major, which has a personal-care product line that includes aluminum-free deodorant, and Vapour, Lovefresh, Kaia Naturals, Meow Meow Tweet and others.
According to Euromonitor, global deodorant sales were $20.2 billion in 2016 and could climb to $23.4 billion by 2021. For the U.S. market, deodorant sales for 2016 were about $4.5 billion for 2016 and projected to climb to almost $5.3 billion for 2021, according to Euromonitor.
Schmidt’s, based in Portland, Ore., was founded by Jaime Schmidt. The brand sells direct to consumers, and branched beyond the natural grocery channel earlier this year when it entered Target Corp. and then Kroger.
At Schmidt’s, a large part of the focus (outside of ingredients) is on scent. The company recently released a holiday deodorant collection that includes fragrances Oh, Christmas Tree, Holiday Spice and Snow Day, which are sold as a three-pack for $24.99 or $26.99 (for sensitive skin). Schmidt’s also makes Charcoal and Magnesium, Earth and Wood, Rose and Vanilla, Bergamot and Lime, Lavender and Sage, and other flavors of deodorant. The products come in stick and jar form — consumers who recycle five glass jars of product are eligible to receive one free deodorant jar. The brand also makes natural bar soaps, deodorant minis and offers a subscription service with free shipping.
M&A in the beauty and personal care world has been on fire. On Monday, Unilever announced a deal for Sundial, which owns hair and personal care brands SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage and Madam C.J. Walker. Before that, Henkel agreed to buy Zotos from Shiseido, Castanea Partners invested in skin-care brand Tatcha, Tengram Capital acquired ReVive from Shiseido, and Unilever bought Hourglass Cosmetics.