1/3/17: High Ridge Brands Acquires Leading Oral Care Company, Dr. Fresh

Jan 03, 2017

HIGH RIDGE BRANDS ACQUIRES LEADING ORAL CARE COMPANY, DR. FRESH

STAMFORD, Conn., Jan. 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ High Ridge Brands Co. (“High Ridge Brands”), a leading Stamford, CT based personal care consumer products company and a portfolio company of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, announced today that it has recently acquired Dr. Fresh, LLC (“Dr. Fresh” or the “Company”), a leading provider of oral care products, from a private equity fund co-advised by NexPhase Capital, LP (“NexPhase”) and Moelis Capital Partners LLC (“MCP”). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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.

About Dr. Fresh

Dr. Fresh LLC is a leading designer and marketer of branded, licensed and private label oral care and personal care products, including REACH®, Dr. Fresh®, Firefly®, and Binaca®, which are sold primarily through food, drug, mass merchant and value retailers. Dr. Fresh is headquartered in Buena Park, California. For more information, please visit www.drfresh.com.

About NexPhase Capital

NexPhase Capital is a New York-based private equity firm that targets equity investments between $25 and $75 million in leading middle market, growth-oriented companies. NexPhase was formed in 2016 by the former principals of MCP to execute, on an independent basis, a sector-focused strategy of control investments in lower middle market companies. NexPhase specializes in the healthcare, industrial services, software and consumer sectors. Led by Co-Managing Partners Kurt Larsen and Ted Yun, NexPhase continues to co-manage approximately $872 million of MCP’s legacy private equity capital. For more information, please visit www.NexPhase.com.

About Moelis Capital Partners

Moelis Capital Partners LLC, a subsidiary of Moelis Asset Management LP, is a middle market private equity firm founded in 2007. MCP co-manages approximately $872 million of committed private equity capital with NexPhase Capital in traditional private equity investments. For more information, please visit www.moeliscapital.com.

About Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

Founded in 1978, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is a private investment firm with an investment strategy predicated on producing financial returns through building stronger, more profitable businesses. Since inception, CD&R has managed the investment of $22 billion in 70 companies, representing a broad range of industries with an aggregate transaction value of approximately $100 billion. The firm has offices in New York and London. For more information, visit www.cdr-inc.com.

About High Ridge Brands

High Ridge Brands, headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, is primarily focused on providing families with high quality personal care products at great value. Today, High Ridge Brands has a portfolio of nine trusted brands, serving primarily North American personal cleansing and hair care markets, including Zest®, White Rain®, Alberto VO5®, Coast®, LA Looks®, Zero Frizz®, Rave®, Salon Grafix® and Thicker Fuller Hair®. The company operates an asset-light model, outsourcing all of its manufacturing needs, and has approximately 50 employees. For more information, please visit www.highridgebrands.com.