Paul Allen’s latest bet: Sonic-powered toothbrushes and water flossers

waterpik11Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc. has joined an investment group that has acquired Water Pik, the Fort Collins, Colorado maker of sonic powered toothbrushes, water flossers and shower heads. The Microsoft co-founder was joined in the investment by MidOcean Partners, a private equity firm. Together, they bought the company from  EG Capital Group and Zodiac Marine & Pool.

The Water Pik toothbrushes sell for between $79 and $89, and today they are distributed through more than 50,000 retailers.

“The company is entering an exciting stage of its continued market penetration and growth story,” said Water Pik CEO Richard Bisson in a statement. “A robust product portfolio and pipeline, an enhanced consumer and professional focused marketing strategy, increased distribution and customer service, all of which have resulted in success with our retail customers. We are excited to work with our new partners, whose strong consumer products expertise and financial resources will benefit the business going forward.”

The investment marks yet another diverse bet by Allen whose interests include sports teams; oil & gas companies; and more.

Water Pik competes with the Sonicare line of toothbrushes, which were introduced by Seattle area entrepreneur David Giuliani in the early 1990s. That company was acquired by Philips in 2000.

Water Pik actually started in 1962 under the name Aqua Tec Corp. — founded by hydraulic engineer John Mattingly and dentist Gerald Moyer. The company introduced its shower massager in 1973.

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