Jessica Alba’s Honest Co. Valued at Over $2 Billion After Strong Trading Debut

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    The personal-care products brand Honest Co. jumped as much as 49% in its trading debut, delivering what co-founder Jessica Alba called a “pinch me moment” as well as a higher-profile platform for pitching wholesome products.

    The actress turned entrepreneur, whose stake in her decade-old venture could be worth as much as $128 million, said she has no plans to step back now that Honest has gone public.

    “I have three kids, I would say Honest is my fourth kid,” Alba said in an interview. “You should have products that you can trust and across the board we hit on all of those things that are very important to not just the millennials, but the younger generation that are driving really the consumer’s behavior to a more conscious life.”

    The company’s shares, which sold for $16 in its initial public offering, opened trading Wednesday at $21.22 and rose as high as $23.88.

    The shares were up 43% to $22.80 at 2:36 p.m in New York trading, giving the company a market value of about $2.1 billion. Fully diluted to include employee stock options and restricted stock units, the company is valued at almost $2.5 billion.

    Honest and its existing stockholders raised $413 million in Tuesday’s share sale. The company offered 6.5 million shares, with more than 19 million shares sold by investors including private equity firm L Catterton, Institutional Venture Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and General Catalyst.

    Alba, now the company’s chief creative officer, owns 5.65 million shares including options. She didn’t plan to sell her shares in the offering, according to the filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

    In a letter to potential investors in the company’s filings, Alba touted Honest’s commitment to healthy products. In addition to baby products like shampoos, the company also sells cosmetics as well as cleaning supplies, a collection that was launched during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Alba, who has starred in movies such as “Fantastic Four,” traced her interest in healthy products to her own childhood ailments.

    “I suffered from chronic illnesses, severe asthma and allergies, leading to long, lonely weeks in the hospital,” she said. “There were no lasting solutions for my health issues and by the time I was 10, I became aware of how wellness can define your whole life. That’s never left me.”

    Founded in 2011, Honest has grown into a national brand and has partnerships with retail giants including Target Corp. and Amazon.com Inc.

    Alba has said she became particularly concerned about ingredients in baby products and that she tried to appeal to lawmakers for chemical legislation reform.

    Honest’s business touches on several trends that have become more prominent during the coronavirus pandemic, including a focus on wellness and elevated demand for cleaning products. Those have buoyed top-line results for household-goods companies such as Procter & Gamble Co., the maker of Pampers diapers and Tide laundry detergent.

    Los Angeles-based Honest generated sales last year of about $301 million, a 28% increase over 2019. It lost $14.5 million in 2020. Diapers and wipes accounted for 63% of last year’s sales.

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  • In This Story: Jessica Alba

    Jessica Marie Alba is an American actress and businesswoman. She began her television and movie appearances at age 13 in Camp Nowhere and The Secret World of Alex Mack, but rose to prominence at age 19 as the lead actress of the television series Dark Angel, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination.

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