Spanx, the woman-led company that pioneered the shapewear industry, reached a billion-dollar valuation after being acquired by an all-woman team at private equity firm Blackstone. The acquisition, which was soon followed by more investment from the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon, sets the company on a path to expand its global footprint while solidifying its dominance in the competitive shapewear market and retaining founder Sara Blakely as its executive chair. In a move quite rare at billion-dollar companies, Blakely celebrated the acquisition by gifting each employee with a free, first-class round-trip and USD 10,000 in cash. This case asks students to discuss the acquisition, what it means for Spanx, and Blakely’s decision to reward her employees.
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