SC Johnson closes on Babyganics acquisition

Company also preparing for Chicago employee move

OFF! Deep Woods personal repellent in production at SC Johnson’s Waxdale manufacturing facility in Mount Pleasant.

Racine-based SC Johnson has closed on its previously announced acquisition of Westbury, New York-based baby product manufacturer Babyganics for an undisclosed price.

San Francisco-based private equity firm VMG Partners completed the sale.

Babyganics, which has 50 employees, makes plant-based and organic household and personal care products for babies, including laundry detergent, multi-surface cleaner, bubble bath, dish soap, diapers and toothpaste. They are sold at major retailers like Amazon, Buy Buy Baby, Walgreens, Target and Babies “R” Us. Launched in 2004, it was listed at No. 1,540 on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014 with 277 percent growth over the previous three years and 2013 revenue of $30 million.

SC Johnson plans to continue operating Babyganics as a standalone business.

“The Babyganics brand has emerged as a true leader in the pursuit of providing unique and innovative products for today’s parents and their children,” said Kara Roell, managing director of VMG. “VMG is extremely appreciative of the partnership built with Kevin Schwartz and Keith Garber, the leaders of Babyganics, and of the collaboration, creativity and exceptional performance of the entire Babyganics team in redefining the well-baby category.”

SC Johnson manufactures household cleaning, air care, pest control and storage products, including brands like Glade, Pledge, Raid, Scrubbing Bubbles, Shout, Windex and Ziploc. The 130-year-old company, which generates $10 billion in sales, employs approximately 13,000 people globally, 2,200 of which are based in Racine, and sells products in virtually every country.

SC Johnson is in the midst of a $50 million to $80 million renovation to modernize its global headquarters campus in Racine and relocating 175 positions from Racine to Chicago. This month, it selected not one, but two buildings in Chicago for the relocation, according to Crain’s Chicago. The company expects to complete the employee move this fall, said Michelle Johnson, director of public affairs-brand at SC Johnson. She would not provide any further information about the move or the headquarters project.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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