Womenswear brand Spanx had announced that investment firm Blackstone has closed a majority investment in the business, at a valuation of 1.2 billion dollars, with the addition of a number of new investors also participating in the closing. Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Whitney Wolfe Herd, as well as female-founded G9 Ventures, are among the roster of investors part of the deal.
Spanx’s founder and executive chairman, Sara Blakely, said in a release: “This is an incredible ‘pinch-me’ moment, because both Oprah and Reese have been longtime supporters of Spanx, and Whitney has been a gamechanger for women in business.”
Blakely appeared on Oprah’s talk show, The Oprah Show, in 2000, with the presenter naming Spanx one of her ‘Favourite Things’ in the same year - something Blakely considered as part of the company’s early success.
She added: “To have the support of these smart, thoughtful, world-class female-founders who have also disrupted their industries to elevate and support women means everything.”
In a further move to empower female leaders, Blackstone and Spanx have further emphasised their intention to create an all-female Spanx board of directors.
Blakely will continue to maintain a significant equity stake in Spanx and, along with Spanx’s existing senior management team, will also continue to oversee daily operations. The Blackstone investment is the most recent addition to the firm’s growing profile of female-led companies it backs, including Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and Herd’s dating platform, Bumble.