Newell Brands Inc. (NYSE: NWL) is having a garage sale. The company behind Graco strollers, Sharpie markers and a range of other consumer goods announced on Oct. 4 that it's going to divest nearly 10 percent of its business following the completion of its $15 billion acquisition of Jarden earlier in 2016. The assets up for sale include Rubbermaid large consumer-storage containers (those big bins you use for stowing away Christmas decorations, sweaters and such), the majority of the company's tools segment, its winter-sports unit and its heaters, humidifiers and fans. If that sounds like a random assortment, welcome to the company that is Newell Brands.
CEO Michael Polk has been telegraphing for months that he's going to put businesses on the chopping block, though the magnitude of this divestiture package and some of the specific units he's decided to part with are a bit of a surprise, notes Piper Jaffray analyst Stephanie Wissink. All told, they accounted for about $1.5 billion in revenue in 2015 and include $100 million of assets previously earmarked for disposal. Newell won Mergers & Acquisitions’ 2015 M&A Mid-Market Award for Strategic Buyer of the Year.