High Ridge Brands snaps up Zest from P&G

GREENWICH, Conn. — Private equity fund Brynwood Partners VI L.P. announced on Tuesday that its newly formed portfolio company, High Ridge Brands, has acquired the Zest brand from Procter & Gamble.

High Ridge Brands purchased the rights to the Zest brand in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean markets. The company will be based in Stamford, Conn., and Brynwood VI has majority ownership of the company.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Zest, famous for its "Zestfully Clean" advertising campaign, was launched in 1952 by P&G and is known for its bar soap and body wash products.

"We are delighted to announce the acquisition of the Zest brand," stated Dario Margve, nonexecutive chairman of High Ridge Brands and managing partner of Brynwood VI. "We believe that this will be a great new platform investment for our firm and look forward to not only bringing renewed attention and energy to the great Zest brand, but to also adding complementary brands to the company in the future."

Brynwood Partners L.P. has experience in the personal care space. Margve was CEO of J.B. Williams Co., a Brynwood Partners II L.P. portfolio company, from 1992 to 2002. J.B. Williams' brands included Aqua Velva, Cepacol, Brylcreem and Lectric Shave. J.B. Williams was divested to Combe.

"We are excited to be investing in the personal care space again as this has proven to be a very good area for our firm," added Hendrik J. Hartong III, senior managing partner of Brynwood Partners. "We are pleased to have Dario Margve overseeing this investment for Brynwood VI and have high confidence that he and the management team will put the Zest brand on a growth track again."

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