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Method Sold To Ecover

September 6, 2012

Firm says both units will operate as separate brands.

Private equity firm San Francisco Equity Partners has sold Method to Europe-based Ecover. The transaction is said to create the world’s largest green cleaning company, with global distribution and unmatched capabilities in green product development, innovation and manufacturing.

Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed by either company.

Collectively, the the firms will deliver sales of $200 million and employ around 300 staff, according to Ecover, which said it and Method will continue as separate brands with a "shared ambition to bring as many new consumers as possible into the green cleaning and personal care market."

There will be "a combined approach towards innovation and R&D, an aspect that both companies feel hugely passionate about as it underpins the very foundations of their brands," according to Ecover.

“With the acquisition of Method, we are acquiring much more than just a brand,” said Ecover CEO, Philip Malmberg. “This is the start of a fantastic, long-term partnership with a company that has a track record for innovation, an unwavering commitment to green products and a professional team with a real passion for what they do.The merger of these two businesses provides us with a strategic position in the US market – the largest and fastest growing market in the green cleaning category – and Method with a European partner with an unrivalled heritage, robust environmental credentials and ecological manufacturing facilities.

“I am personally very excited about this acquisition as it will not only create the world’s most dynamic and visionary green cleaning company but also establish a great platform for growth for both brands. By leveraging each other’s strengths, this partnership will support the elevation of the green cleaning category as a whole.”

Method was ranked No. 49 in Happi’s 2012 Top 50 Report, with estimated sales of $112 million.The firm was founded in 2000 by Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry with the goal of transforming the household cleaner from a toxic chemical that hides under the sink to an all-natural, biodegradable and stylish countertop accessory. Today, Method can be found in more than 40,000 retail locations throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

“This transition marks a new chapter in the evolution of our business,” said Eric Ryan, Method’s co-founder and chief brand architect. “Our partnership with SFEP was integral to Method’s rapid growth and success. Their expertise and support have been instrumental in helping Method drive brand strategy, increase distribution, dramatically enhance margin structure, and develop our management team. They have been ideal partners.”

“We are thrilled to have partnered with Method’s founders, management team and employees in building one of the world’s premier consumer brands,” said Scott Potter, managing partner at SFEP. “Our investment in Method demonstrates SFEP’s ability to identify emerging consumer brands with immense potential and to work closely with management teams to drive sustained profitable growth. This transaction represents a great outcome for the company and its employees and concludes a highly successful investment for SFEP.”

Sawaya Segalas & Co. acted as exclusive financial advisor to Method in connection with the transaction.
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