At the time of engaging Whipstitch, Thayers Natural Remedies was a hyper-growth and highly profitable company that was (and still is) one of the most iconic skincare brands in North America. Thayers had created a unique and authentic brand halo. In fact, a portion of Thayers’ “secret sauce,” witch hazel, was even grown on a farm co-located on the company’s Connecticut headquarters. Over the previous years, owners John Gehr and family had resurrected the brand from its 1847 roots through updated imagery and packaging.
This new look and success helped attract top-tier talent in John Reppucci, who eventually went on to lead Thayers through its meteoric rise and sale. Repucci helped Thayers achieve best in class skin toner velocities in US retail (Multi-outlet). Such growth required a new approach for this family-held business: team expansion and professionalization. The Gehr family knew it was time for this burgeoning brand to belong in the hands of seasoned investors or a strategic acquirer to realize its full potential.
Whipstitch was part of a large investment banking selection process which included several Wall Street “big name” banks. Thayers selected Whipstitch as the Gehr family could see that Whipstitch’s story telling ability, industry knowledge and reputation went above and beyond the others. Gehr also felt a strong entrepreneurial and cultural fit between Thayers and Whipstitch.
Whipstitch ran a competitive process leading to the receipt of many offers, ranging from majority sales to full buyouts. During the early days of the COVID-19 epidemic, when almost every single process had failed or paused, Whipstitch was able to keep nearly all bidders fully engaged –even receiving calls from strategic acquirers asking, “Are you really still pushing this process forward during COVID?” With a strong process and multiple buyers, the answer was yes. Whipstitch’s tenacity and ability to read and lead the market led to global beauty buyer L’Oréal acquiring the company for one of highest known multiples of revenue in skincare history.