Gojo Industries Inc., the family-owned firm behind the highly sought-after Purell hand sanitizer, is said to be seeking a buyer and could be valued at around $3 billion. According to insiders, the firm has enlisted JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM to run an auction of the business. With annual sales of about $1 billion, the potential sale process is still in its early stages, and bankers are initially focused on selling the business to other companies rather than private-equity firms.
The hand sanitizer market is expected to post a CAGR of more than 10% between 2019 and 2025, primarily due to increasing health concerns and growing awareness of the importance of hygiene. Purell, placed strategically in retail locations, offices, hospitals, and events, has become a global symbol for clean hands and keeping away germs.
However, the brand’s humble beginnings stem from a former car dealership founded in Akron, Ohio, during World War II by Goldie Lippman and Jerry Lippman. The couple entered the soap business after Goldie got a job selling paint to auto dealers during the war.
Eventually, the Lippman family business grew into a modest soap company that would pave the way for the creation of Purell hand sanitizer. In the 1960s, Gojo pioneered industrial hand cleaner dispensers in businesses and other commercial establishments. By the 1980s, the company expanded further into soap and other hand care products in the retail market.
In the 1990s, Gojo launched Purell, which would become the gold standard for hand sanitizers globally. At the time, antibacterial and antiviral hand sanitizers were not widely available, and the company’s innovation led the way for the hand hygiene industry.
Today, Purell hand sanitizers represent an essential tool for infection prevention and control in healthcare, as well as a staple for hygiene-conscious individuals worldwide. The brand name is synonymous with hand hygiene and is a trusted product for millions of consumers, thanks in part to its use in high-profile settings such as hospitals, offices, schools, and events.
With a broad product range that includes hand soaps, surface sanitizers, and dispensing tools, Purell offers consumers and businesses solutions for everyday hygiene and health protection. The company is committed to promoting global health and wellness through its PURELL Advanced Hand Sanitizer line, which is designed to kill 99.99% of illness-causing germs.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer demand for hand sanitizers skyrocketed, and Purell became an even more valuable brand. In March 2020, hand sanitizer sales jumped 470% compared to the previous year, with many shelves left empty or filled with lesser-known substitute brands, as people stocked up during the initial stages of the pandemic.
With a projected surge in the demand for hand sanitizers expected to continue through the coming years, Purell looks set to retain its stronghold on the market. Consumers have increasingly become more mindful of basic health and hygiene practices, leading to a persistently high demand for sanitation products.
Moreover, businesses across industries are starting to require hand sanitization tools as employees return to the office, which may help provide a reliable customer base for Purell’s products long after the pandemic has subsided. Companies are cognizant of the need for better health and safety measures in the workplace and are likely to continue investing in products like Purell to ensure a hygienic work environment.
As part of this growth, Gojo Industries has also expanded beyond its home market, targeting global reach through its international subsidiaries and partnerships. The company’s commitment to research and development, and its focus on delivering effective hygiene solutions, supports its ambitions to build a world without preventable infections, and driving increased demand for its products.
In the future, the hand sanitizer market is poised for significant growth, driven by the increasing awareness of the importance of hygiene and prevention. As Purell remains a trusted and well-established brand in that space, it is well-positioned to continue its market dominance and capitalize on the expanding consumer interest in hand sanitization products.
By securing a buyer at this crucial point in the industry’s growth, Gojo Industries could propel Purell to new heights while leveraging its existing brand recognition and consumer trust to further establish itself as the go-to option for hand sanitization.