Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Gore Fund Fuels Seventh Generation Acquisition Effort

Amy Sussman/AP Images for Seventh Generation
Seventh Generation CEO John Replogle says acquisitions represent a new growth phase for the company.

Burlington-based Seventh Generation is embarking on a more aggressive effort to acquire other companies. A $30 million investment from the London-based Generation Investment Management Fund co-founded by former vice president Al Gore will allow Seventh Generation to help pay for the effort.

Seventh Generation CEO John Replogle says acquisitions mark a new phase for the 26-year-old company.  He says the shift comes at a time when the economy is strengthening.

“The market has moved. Consumer confidence has returned; people are making choices for values over value,” says Replogle.

With its investment Gore’s fund becomes the third largest shareholder in the privately held company.

"I would think about the $60 million as a good down payment with the ability to go much deeper if we need to." - Seventh Generation CEO John Replogle

Seventh Generation, which sells household and personal care products, is one of more than 1,100 Benefit Corporations, or B Corporations, that meet certain standards in the products they make, their relationship with workers, and their impact on the community and the environment.  

Replogle says it’s a good time for Seventh Generation to acquire other companies that share those values.

“There are more and more companies started every day and more growing up that have clarity of purpose, alignment of mission, that really think about people, planet and profit. So we have many more choices today than we did five years ago,” he says.

In addition to $30 million dollars from Gore’s investment fund, Seventh Generation has secured an equal amount in credit from Toronto-based TD Bank.

“$60 million is sufficient to get started,” Replogle says. “We also have a very committed set of investors and a board and access to sufficient additional capital should we need it if we find good strategic investments. I would think about the $60 million as a good down payment with the ability to go much deeper if we need to.”

Seventh Generation’s acquisition phase began last year when the company bought Bobble, a reusable bottle that filters water.

This year, it acquired the Gamila Company, which makes a single cup coffee brewing system and a tea infuser. 

Unlike the popular single-serve K-Cups made by Vermont’s Keurig Green Mountain, the system doesn’t use any non-recyclable components. 

Replogle acknowledges the Gamila system isn’t a threat to a company the size of Keurig Green Mountain.  

“They are so much larger than us. All we’re looking to do is bring innovative solutions to this growing trend of waste creation,” he says. “We hope that ultimately they’re going to step up and figure out a more sustainable solution, but in the interim we’re giving consumers a choice.”

Replogle says Seventh Generation expects to add an additional brand to its portfolio each year for the next four or five years. The brands will be part of a wholly owned subsidiary called Seventh Generation Ventures.

Steve has been with VPR since 1994, first serving as host of VPR’s public affairs program and then as a reporter, based in Central Vermont. Many VPR listeners recognize Steve for his special reports from Iran, providing a glimpse of this country that is usually hidden from the rest of the world. Prior to working with VPR, Steve served as program director for WNCS for 17 years, and also worked as news director for WCVR in Randolph. A graduate of Northern Arizona University, Steve also worked for stations in Phoenix and Tucson before moving to Vermont in 1972. Steve has been honored multiple times with national and regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for his VPR reporting, including a 2011 win for best documentary for his report, Afghanistan's Other War.
Latest Stories