As part of its investment, Swander Pace will provide the resources and financial backing to carve out the J.R. Watkins Personal Care & Household product offering from Watkins, Inc. into a separate company. The new entity will retain the name J.R. Watkins and will manufacture, market, and sell the same high-quality personal care and household products for which it has been known for 150 years. Watkins, Inc. will continue to manufacture and sell its range of high-quality spices and extracts, offered under the Watkins brand.
“We are looking forward to building on the legacy of J.R. Watkins to increase its share of the household and personal care category,” said Heather Smith Thorne, managing director at Swander Pace Capital. “J.R. Watkins has always stood for a superior range of products, high caliber of customer service, and extremely loyal customer base. These are tremendous assets for any consumer-facing business and are major reasons we are excited about partnering with this team and brand.”
Mark Jacobs, CEO of Watkins, Inc., will continue his involvement with J.R. Watkins as vice chairman of the newly formed J.R. Watkins company.
“We are thrilled to be working with such an experienced and knowledgeable partner in Swander Pace,” said Jacobs. “Time and again, they have nurtured authentic brands with high-quality products in the natural products space, helping them become leaders in their categories.
He added, “Swander Pace is known for helping companies grow revenues, improve profitability and unlock value, and we look forward to working with their team to ensure J.R. Watkins is well-positioned for long-term success.”
Established in 1868, J.R. Watkins began as an apothecary and supplier of personal care goods. Today, it is a globally recognized brand synonymous with high quality, efficacious products and attractive design across a variety of household and personal care product categories. The company maintains a strong distribution network consisting of well-known distributors and retailers, as well as a growing online and Amazon presence.
“Amid changing customer tastes, J.R. Watkins is in a unique position to increase its market share in the natural home, bath and body care business, said Mark Poff, managing director at Swander Pace Capital. We are confident that the investment will put the company in the best possible position to expand upon its already-successful legacy.”
BMO Capital Markets advised Watkins, Inc. on the transaction. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.