- Helen of Troy, who owns Vicks, Drybar, and Hydro Flask, among others, on Monday Got an Osprey outdoor backpack for $414 million in cash in an effort to “accelerate earnings growth” through the acquisition.
- The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of the year, under usual closing terms. Osprey is expected to have net sales in 2021 of between $155 million and $160 million, according to a press release.
- Executives see Osprey as a supplement brand for Hydro Flask, with CEO Julien Mininberg calling the two a “compelling blend” for outdoor consumers.
Mike Pfutenhauer, founder of Osprey, said the acquisition is a “natural next step” for the backpack brand as it looks to expand. As for Helen of Troy, it builds on the company’s outdoor offerings, providing it another ESG-focused brand and giving it a stronger foothold in international markets. About half of Osprey’s sales are outside the United States, according to Mininberg.
“Combining the capabilities, authenticity and credibility of this well-proven and well-respected outdoor leader with our global footprint and scalable global shared services creates opportunities for new efficiency and growth,” Meinenberg said in a statement. “Together with Hydro Flask, we can now serve and delight even more enthusiastic end users in the large and growing outdoor adventure category.”
In a presentation on the acquisition, Helen of Troy highlighted Osprey’s status as No. 1 seller of technical packagingand daily backpacking and travel packs in the US, as well as No. 2 in the US in hydration packs. The company offers backpacks for hiking, skiing, mountain biking, travel, commuting and other categories, and executives see an opportunity for Osprey to go even further. Possible product expansions include camping and outdoor clothing and footwear.
Notably, Helen of Troy plans to use Osprey to sell its other outdoor-related brands, including Hydro Flask and OXO. Already, some of Osprey’s biggest trading partners — including Nordstrom, REI, LL Bean, Dick’s, Moosejaw and Amazon — sell Hydro Flask or other Helen of Troy brands. The target consumers of Osprey, Hydro Flask and OXO also overlap, and they all have a higher margin position, according to Helen Troy.
While discussing Osprey’s already powerful penetration in the US, Minnenberg said on a call with analysts, “The story is not over for distribution and it’s not just outside of the US.” Osprey recently added Dick as a partner to the brand, which executives have called an “attractive” store, and Helen of Troy also believes that Osprey’s sales can be improved through Amazon and through its DTC channels. Osprey already owns a “large” DTC, according to the company, but Helen of Troy plans to expand it.
“We are getting big time [on DTC]as well as Osprey, and we know our IT teams can add value.”