Plus, Amazon to accept Venmo payments, Casper goes private less than two years after IPO and DoorDash makes an international acquisition.

(Bloomberg)—Edgewell Personal Care Co., the owner of Schick and Banana Boat, said it purchased direct-to-consumer razor brand Billie Inc. in a $310 million transaction.

The deal has cleared antitrust requirements and has already been closed, Edgewell said in a statement. This would appear to resolve thorny antitrust issues that have prevented a series of personal-care transactions from closing—including an earlier bid for Billie by Gillette owner Procter & Gamble Co., which the Federal Trade Commission blocked on the grounds that it would reduce competition. Billie is No. 1231 in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 Next 1000. P&G is No. 559 in the Top 1000, while Edgewell is not currently ranked.

Billie, which sells women’s razors and body-care products, gives Edgewell a direct-to-consumer razor business almost two years after antitrust regulators blocked its attempted purchase of Harry’s Inc. (No. 158). It’s one of a number of consumer-products companies sidestepping traditional retailers with a direct-selling model that has shaken up the space.

Edgewell only launched direct ecommerce in earnest two years ago, but has grown quickly. Ecommerce now accounts for 9% of total revenue for the manufacturer, up 25% in the 2021 fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 on top of 82% growth the year prior, according to an investor call transcribed by Seeking Alpha. This year, the brand owner launched or replatformed seven ecommerce sites on Shopify to simplify its direct ecommerce business, according to the investor call. With the addition of Billie, the company operates nine ecommerce sites for its various brands including for brands Schick, Bulldog Skincare and Skintimate. Its feminine care brands and Banana Boat sunscreen line do not have direct ecommerce sites.

Billie will continue to be led by its co-founders, Georgina Gooley and Jason Bravman, Edgewell said. Edgewell, based in Shelton, Connecticut, expects the acquisition to be slightly positive to Edgewell’s adjusted earnings per share during fiscal 2022. Billie plans to expand into brick-and-mortar retail next year.

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The transaction was carried out with a combination of cash and a revolving loan.

In other ecommerce news:

  • PayPal Holdings Inc. inked a deal last month with Amazon.com Inc. (No. 1) to allow the firm’s Venmo wallets in the U.S. to be accepted on the ecommerce giant’s website and mobile app starting next year. Payments coming from former parent EBay Inc.’s marketplace declined 45% in the third quarter, a bigger drop than in the prior period. EBay Inc. is No. 5 in the ranking of Digital Commerce 360 Top 100 Online Marketplaces. PayPal’s new deal with Amazon is “a result of us no longer having the restrictions of the EBay operating agreement. That enabled us to reach this agreement with Amazon,” PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said in an interview with Bloomberg. Among Top 1000 retailers, 42 offer Venmo payments, while 800 offer checkout with PayPal payments. In November, Amazon also announced Visa Inc. credit cards would no longer be accepted in the U.K. as the mass merchant looks to change up its payment offerings.
  • Mattress brand Casper Sleep Inc. (No. 167) is going private again. Durational Capital Management, which has invested in Kentucky Derby-operator Churchill Downs and owns fast-food chicken chain Bojangles, will buy the DNVB. It’s another sign that the new generation of direct-to-consumer brands trying to disrupt retail may not be able to deliver in the public market. The mattress company broke through into the mainstream with savvy marketing for its bed-in-a-box offering, but it’s struggled to find a second act. Casper announced the deal as it posted earnings that missed analysts estimates. Casper was a unicorn startup before going public in February 2020. On that first day of trading, it closed with a market value of $535 million after being valued at $1.1 billion as a private company. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.
  • DoorDash Inc., the biggest meal-delivery service in the U.S. said it’s buying Finnish food-delivery startup Wolt Enterprises Oy for about $8 billion. DoorDash also provides same-day delivery services for retailers, including 20 of the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 Top 500. The all-stock deal is DoorDash’s biggest purchase to date, eclipsing the acquisition of Caviar in 2019. It’s the latest merger in the quickly consolidating food-delivery market, which has benefited handsomely during the pandemic. In 2020, Europe’s Just Eat Takeaway.com NV bought Grubhub for $7.3 billion, while Uber Technologies Inc. snapped up Postmates Inc. for $2.65 billion.
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