B Lab has posted a list of companies that either converting or incorporated as benefit corporations under Delaware law today (the first effective day of the benefit corporation statute). The list of those companies is below but I’d like to highlight two significant ones here given their size and recent/ongoing acquisitions:
— Method — As in the green cleaning products found in Target. In 2012, Method became a subsidiary of Ecover Belgium NV, another global green cleaning product company.
— Plum Organics — The ubiquitous baby food line. Plum Organics is the #4 baby food company in the U.S. with $93m in sales in 2012. In May 2013, Campbell Soup announced that it was buying Plum Organics and would keep it as a distinct brand. I don’t have any updates as to whether that acquisition is still in process but as of May 2013 the deal was expected to close in the 4th quarter.
Having written about the flexible purpose corporation (a California stakeholder corporate form) being a viable way to safeguarding a company’s social mission in the mergers and acquisitions context (paper here) (Professor Haskell Murray similarly wrote about the benefit corporation in the M&A context – paper here), I am very curious as to how converting to a Delaware benefit corporation impacted or was a result of these two acquisitions. Did the companies always intend to convert in order to maintain their green missions? Was this negotiated as a part of the acquisition deal?
Another stand out amongst the Delaware benefit corporation crowd is RSF Capital Management, a subsidiary of RSF Social Finance — a major impact investor, social enterprise lender, and donor.
The other companies that incorporated or converted to the Delaware benefit corporate form are:
American Prison Data Systems
Better Than We Found It
Fair Parenting Project
Grassroots Capital Management
Ian Martin Group
New Leaf Paper
Profile Health Systems