Carlyle invests $250 million in U.S. e-commerce firm Pharmapacks

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Carlyle Group is displayed at the company's office in Tokyo, Japan October 17, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

(Reuters) - Private equity firm Carlyle Group Inc said on Thursday it had invested more than $250 million in Pharmapacks, a U.S. e-commerce firm focused on health, personal care and beauty products.

Carlyle’s investment, which values Pharmapacks at about $1.1 billion, comes as the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed more consumers to shop online.

Founded as a brick-and-mortar pharmacy shop in 2010, Pharmapacks has grown into an online retailer for health and consumer goods giants such as Reckitt Benckiser Group, Bayer AG, and L’Oreal SA.

Hauppauge, New York-based Pharmapacks generated about $250 million in sales last year by selling products mainly through large e-commerce marketplaces, including Amazon, eBay, Google, Facebook, Walmart and Target.

Pharmapacks aims to use the investment to open a new supply chain hub on the U.S. West Coast, expand its technology capabilities, and add more products in categories such as food and pets, its Chief Executive Andrew Vagenas said in an interview.

The investment in Pharmapacks was made out Carlyle Partners VII, a $18.5 billion buyout fund the firm recently used to acquire a $175 million stake in digital healthcare firm Grand Rounds Inc.

Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York; Editing by Tom Brown