Acco Brands Corp. (NYSE: ACCO) has agreed to purchase Esselte Group Holdings AB, an European seller of office products, from J.W. Childs Assoc. LP for $333 million in cash. The acquisition brings news brands to Acco’s existing products, including: At-A-Glance, Mead, Nobo, NoteTote, Five Star and Zwipes.
Esselte manufactures office stationery and supplies for business and home office customers across 144 countries. The target supplies more than 20,000 products under brand names such as Esselte, Leitz, Oxford, Pendaflex, Rapid, and Xyron. Esselte owns approximately 25 percent of the European market share and generated nearly $458 million in sales in 2015. Esselte is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Acco chairman Boris Ellisman says the deal supports the buyer’s brand leadership strategy and “creates a pan-European leader in branded business products.” The acquisition totals more than $600 million in combined European sales between the buyer and target.
Lake Zurich, Illinois-based Acco also makes office products and electronic accessories. Acco sells its products to customers through resellers, including: traditional office supply resellers, wholesalers, and storefront and online retailers. The buyer serves customers primarily in Northern Europe, Brazil, Australia and Mexico. The deal with Esselte is expected to yield nearly $23 million in yearly cost synergies.
J.W. Childs is a Waltham, Massachusetts-based middle market private equity firm that invests in consumer, retail and healthcare businesses. Founded in 1995, the PE firm has invested more than $3 billion in equity and invested in Esselte out of its J.W. Childs Equity Partners III LP fund. J.W. Childs has previously invested in pinot winery Kosta Browne Winery and motorcycle apparel company Cycle Gear.
Rothschild & Co. SCA is serving as financial adviser to Acco and Latham & Watkins LLP is acting at legal counsel. The deal is expected to close in early 2017.