Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon invest in Spanx

Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Bumble Founder Whitney Wolfe Herd join Blackstone to invest in Spanx, was the first to report the DealBook newsletter. Blackstone struck a deal to acquire a controlling stake in the shapewear brand that values ​​it at $ 1.2 billion on Thursday.

Founded over 20 years ago, Spanx has become synonymous with the basic clothing it sells. Ms. Winfrey helped put the brand on the map in her early days when in 2000 she named Spanx her favorite product of the year. (Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, said Ms Winfrey previously validated her business idea when the talk show host once told the audience that she had cut her feet off her tights.)

“I’m happy to be a part of the evolution,” Ms. Winfrey said of the brand in a statement.

This is the latest investment deal for Ms Winfrey and Ms Witherspoon, whose financial backing is seen as a seal of approval for mainstream brands. TV and movie stars are also familiar partners for Blackstone. Ms Winfrey invested alongside Blackstone in Oatly, the oat milk brand that went public earlier this year. Blackstone also recently acquired Ms. Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine production studio, adding her to the board of directors of her parent media company. Wolfe Herd’s Bumble, a dating app, was acquired by Blackstone in 2019 before going public earlier this year.

Ms. Winfrey, Ms. Witherspoon and Ms. Wolfe Herd invest directly in Spanx, outside of any Blackstone funds. They were also joined by investment funds G9 Ventures and Able Partners.

Blackstone and Spanx had previously said they intended to create a board made up entirely of women. Ms. Blakely, who put the business up for sale earlier this year without ever making any outside investment, retains a significant stake in the business.

“In addition to developing a remarkable product and business that literally supports women every day, Sara has become a role model for leveraging your success to raise other women,” Ms. Witherspoon said in a statement.

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