Prairie Capital, a Chicago-based middle-market private equity firm, is pleased to announce the successful sale of the EltaMD brand (“EltaMD”) from Swiss-American, LLC, a Prairie Capital V portfolio company. This exit highlights Prairie’s investment strategy of partnering with founders and management teams to build market-leading companies in high-growth industries.
Prairie sold EltaMD to Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE: CL), a leading global consumer products company. EltaMD is the number one physician-dispensed sun care brand in the United States, offering a full suite of clinically proven, cosmetically elegant, over-the-counter sun care and skin care products for every skin type and lifestyle. In 2012, Prairie partnered with management to acquire EltaMD as part of its acquisition of Swiss-American from its founder and began investing heavily to grow EltaMD. Following the divestiture of EltaMD, Prairie and management continue to own the contract development and manufacturing organization (“CDMO”) of Swiss-American which focuses on skin and wound care products.
Prairie’s investment thesis focused on growing the emerging EltaMD brand into a market leader. This required substantial company-building investments including: (i) hiring, training, and supporting a national sales force; (ii) strategically expanding the product offering; and (iii) improving CDMO’s manufacturing capabilities to support EltaMD’s rapid growth. These investments, among others, enabled EltaMD’s revenue to increase by more than 650% during Prairie’s hold period.