Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx. (Paul Thatcher)

Global investment firm Blackstone is buying a majority stake in Spanx, the Buckhead-based brand known for its body-slimming undergarments.

The companies on Wednesday announced the deal, which values Spanx at $1.2 billion. Spanx has its headquarters at the Buckhead Village development.

Blackstone’s investment will fuel digital growth for Spanx and expand its global footprint, according to a press release. The companies also plan to create an all-female board of directors.

Spanx founder Sara Blakely will become executive chairwoman, and existing Spanx management will continue to oversee daily operations.

Blakely founded Spanx in 2000 with $5,000 in savings. At the time, she was selling fax machines door to door. She invented the first Spanx undergarment in her apartment (a footless pantyhose) and wrote her own patent.

The brand took off, and in 2012, Forbes named Blakely the youngest self-made female billionaire. The company today offers a variety of shapewear and clothing.  

 “This is a really important moment in time for female entrepreneurs,” said Blakely in the press release. “I started this company with no business experience and very little money … I am as excited today for the future of Spanx as I was when I started it 21 years ago. Now together with Blackstone, we will have even more opportunity to further our mission of making the world a better place … one butt at a time!”

Amy Wenk

Amy Wenk is Editor of Reporter Newspapers. She can be reached at editor@reporternewspapers.net