Newell Brands Inc. (NYSE: NWL) has agreed to buy Chesapeake Bay Candle from its founders for $75 million. The acquisition reflects Newell’s Growth Game Plan strategy to grow by focusing on core businesses.
Based in Rockville, Maryland, Chesapeake makes candles and other home fragrance products such as reed diffusers. Founded in 1994, the target has around $55 million in annual sales.
Best known as the maker of the Sharpie brand of pens and markers, Hoboken, New Jersey-based Newell has been streamlining its portfolio through M&A to focus on faster growing businesses including candles. Newell launched its Growth Game Plan in 2012 to create a “larger, faster growing, more global and more profitable company." As part of this strategy, in 2015, Newell added Elmer’s to its writing division, which houses the Sharpie brand. In 2016, the company completed the $15 billion purchase of Yankee Candle owner Jarden. Newell won Mergers & Acquisitions’ 2015 M&A Mid-Market Award for Strategic Buyer of the Year.
More recently, Newell completed the sale of the Rubbermaid consumer storage business to United Solutions and sold sells its winter sports unit to Kohlberg & Co. Newell also completed the $100 million acquisition of candle producer Smith Mountain Industries and sold Irwin tools to Stanley Black & Decker Inc. (NYSE: SWK) for $1.95 billion.
Stratgeic buyers in the consumer sector have been buying and selling assets in an effort to boost profitability. Conagara Brands Inc. (CAG) agreed to sell the Wesson oil brand to J.M. Smucker Co. (NYSE: SJM) for $285 million; Church & Dwight Co. (NYSE: CHD) sold the Cameo copper and brass cleaner, Snobol toilet bowl cleaner and the Parsons’ ammonia brands to Brillo owner Armaly Brands; and Newell Brands Inc. (NYSE: NWL) sold its winter sports unit to Kohlberg & Co.