High Ridge Brands Acquired Dr. Fresh
High Ridge Brands Co., a leading personal care consumer products company and a portfolio company of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, announced that it has recently acquired Dr. Fresh, LLC, a leading provider of oral care products, from a private equity fund co-advised by NexPhase Capital and Moelis Capital Partners.
Founded in 1998 and based in Buena Park, CA, Dr. Fresh is a leading provider of quality oral care products for all ages sold under well-known brands such as Firefly®, REACH®, Dr. Fresh®, Binaca® and Dazzling White®. Its products are sold through retailers across mass, dollar, food and drug channels primarily in North America and Europe. Dr. Fresh’s portfolio, which includes manual and power toothbrushes, travel kits, rinse and floss items, holds leading market positions across its attractive niche oral care categories such as children’s, value and travel kits.
The Company has a strong reputation for best-in-class innovation, bringing several innovative features to consumers at affordable prices. For example, the Firefly® brand, a leader in children’s oral care, has revolutionized the market by encouraging healthy oral care habits through features such as flashing lights for optimal brushing time, suction cups that reduce bathroom mess and popular characters children love (e.g., through its licenses of Star Wars®, Spiderman® and Hello Kitty®). For adults, the well-known REACH® brand enjoys a leadership position in the value manual toothbrush category based on its focus on providing innovative ways to clean hard to reach places. In addition, the Dr. Fresh® brand enjoys a leading position in oral care travel kits which are demanded by consumers of all ages looking for convenience; these typically include various combinations of a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss.
The transaction will extend High Ridge Brands’ portfolio beyond its personal cleansing and hair care brands into the attractive oral care category, while deepening its talent bench and broadening its global distribution platform. Dr. Fresh’s asset-light operating model, portfolio of high-usage, consumable products with resilience through economic cycles, and strong cash flow characteristics, are well aligned with High Ridge Brands and its acquisition criteria. The transaction, which will enhance High Ridge Brands’ overall margin profile, was funded with a combination of cash on hand, debt and equity financing.
“We are delighted to announce this acquisition which brings well-known, trusted oral care brands such as REACH®, Firefly®, and Dr. Fresh® to our portfolio,” said James Daniels, President and CEO of High Ridge Brands. “In today’s economy, consumers are looking for ways to stretch their budgets without compromising quality and performance. The Dr. Fresh transaction will help further solidify our position as the “Champions of Value”, providing our retail partners and the consumers they serve with innovative, benefit-rich personal care products at a compelling value. We are excited to welcome the Dr. Fresh team to the High Ridge Brands family.”
Doug Corbett, Chief Executive Officer of Dr. Fresh and NPC Operating Partner, added, “Over the last four years, the MCP/NexPhase team has worked closely with Dr. Fresh’s founder and Company management to achieve our mutual goal of building the largest independent branded oral care company through organic growth initiatives and strategic acquisitions. We believe the Company is poised for continued growth and success with High Ridge Brands.”
William Blair & Company served as the exclusive investment banking advisor to NexPhase and Dr. Fresh, and Kaye Scholer LLP served as legal counsel to the Company. Holland & Knight LLP and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP served as legal counsel to High Ridge Brands. BMO Capital Markets led the committed financing for this transaction on behalf of High Ridge Brands.