Method, a maker of biodegradable cleansers, has been acquired by Europe's Ecover in a deal that creates the world's largest company focused on green cleaning supplies and home care products.
Belgium-based Ecover became the world's first green cleaning manufacturer back in 1980, and has long been associated with responsible processes and ingredients.
San Francisco-based Method also specializes in cleaning products that are either plant-based or use sustainable ingredients. The combined company will have annual sales of about $200 million.
The move will dramatically expand the distribution of the two companies' brands (which will remain separate) across Europe, the US and Asia.
"This is the start of a fantastic, long-term partnership with a company that has a track record for innovation, an unwavering commitment to green products and a professional team with a real passion for what they do," says Philip Malmber, CEO of Ecover. "The merger of these two businesses provides us with a strategic position in the US market – the largest and fastest growing market in the green cleaning category – and Method with a European partner with an unrivalled heritage, robust environmental credentials and ecological manufacturing facilities. "
Method was owned by San Francisco Equity Partners. It was founded in 2000 and has established relationships that quickly catapulted it to a presence in more than 40,000 retail locations in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
More consumers in developed nations are clamoring for transparency about what's in the products they use every day to clean their homes and clothing, and Method has benefited from that interest – it has grown more than 400% during its 11-year existence.
The company has more than 60 cleansers, soaps, laundry detergents and other home-care products certified under the Cradle to Cradle program. The certification rates products for human and environmental factors, as well as recyclability and other sustainable business practices.
Ecover sells 35 household cleaners and laundry detergents in 40 countries, and is long known as a strong leader in sustainable business practices. Its plant runs completely on renewable energy and it invented PlantPlastic, a type of polyethylene that is renewable, reusable and recyclable.