August 4, 2021, Aventura, FL. — WM Partners, a certified diverse-owned private equity firm focused on investing in middle market companies and driving value creation in the health and wellness sector, today announced that HPH II Investments Master Fund, LP, together with its parallel, alternative investment and feeder funds (“HPH II”), through its wholly owned entity, has entered into an agreement to invest in Raw Sugar, LLC (“Raw Sugar”) and partner with Raw Sugar founders and life partners, Ronnie Shugar and Donda Mullis. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Based in Sarasota, Florida and founded in 2014, Raw Sugar is an aspirational lifestyle brand that seeks to make clean beauty and healthy living products affordable, supporting the company’s belief that people are only as beautiful as they feel. Raw Sugar produces premium-quality and earth-friendly personal care products, which are formulated using plant derived and Cold-Pressed© ingredients and recognized by their signature ‘Bamboo Tops & White Bottles’. With a core value of being ‘raw, real, good, and clean’, the company offers an increasing assortment of “better-for-you” personal care products, including soap, body wash, hair care, scrubs, lotions, lip care, a men’s and kid’s line, and most recently a deodorants line with biodegradable recyclable packaging. Through the company’s give-back program, the Raw Sugar Initiative, the company has donated millions of bars of soap and clean essentials to those in need.
HPH II is focused on investing in and acquiring middle market companies with leading brands in the health and wellness sector, specifically in the following subsectors: functional foods, natural personal care, and natural over-the-counter remedies and growing the companies through an operational buy and build value creation strategy. With the investment in Raw Sugar, WM Partners will be starting its portfolio of brands in the natural personal care category, a category growing at approximately 8% CAGR through 2025, according to Adroit Market Research. HPH II’s existing portfolio of brands include Ultima Replenisher, a hydration brand acquired in 2019; Great Lakes, a collagen brand acquired in 2020; Jade Leaf, a matcha brand acquired in 2020; FGO, a superfoods and tea brand acquired in 2020; and Vega, a leading brand in plant-based nutrition, acquired in 2021.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Raw Sugar team. They have built a strong, mission-driven brand, and we look forward to supporting their rapid growth in the natural personal care sector,” said Jose Minski, co-founder of WM Partners. “We believe Raw Sugar is very well positioned to capitalize on the long-term growth of the natural personal care industry and on the increasing consumer demands for natural health and wellness brands.”
“We created the Raw Sugar brand to not only make clean healthy living more accessible to everybody, but to also inspire people to love the skin they’re in,” said Mullis, Raw Sugar’s Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer.
Raw Sugar’s Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Shugar added, “I believe that our partnership with WM Partners will provide us the resources and operational expertise to help continue our growth and innovation, build awareness for the Raw Sugar brand, and support our consumers, retailers and supplier partners- all while staying true to our Raw Sugar mission.”
King & Spalding served as legal advisor to WM Partners. Intrepid Investment Bankers and Buchalter served as advisors to Raw Sugar.