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Sanford Parent to Acquire Bottle Maker


Newell Rubbermaid, parent company of Top 40 supplier Sanford Business-To-Business (asi/84833), has agreed to acquire thermal mug and water bottle maker Ignite Holdings LLC from private-equity firm North Castle Partners. The deal, worth $308 million, is expected to be finalized by the end of the third quarter.

“We are delighted to have found a long term strategic owner for the business who shares our pride in the achievements and strength of the company, but can bring a new level of investment and global perspective,” said Sami El-Saden, CEO of Ignite.

According to a statement announcing the acquisition, Newell Rubbermaid will add Ignite to its Home Solutions unit, where it will join brands like Calphalon, Goody, and Levolor. Newell has pledged to reinvest a portion of Ignite’s profitability to further build the bottle maker’s offerings. The acquisition, Newell officials say, also provides the company key intellectual property information it can use to boost demand for its Rubbermaid bottles.

“Ignite has a great track record of growth, establishing a leading share position in two of the fastest growing consumer durable categories in North America,” said Michael Polk, president and CEO of Newell Rubbermaid. “Their commitment to leverage great design to deliver differentiated products is evident in their results.”

Ignite, which sells its eco-friendly products under the brand names Contigo and Avex, has increased sales by 35% annually over the past four years. The Chicago-based company’s revenues are expected to hit $125 million in 2014, strengthening Newell’s financials. Ignite’s items are manufactured overseas, but are largely sold through retail channels in North America. Three different ad specialty suppliers – ETS Express (asi/51197), (asi/55217) and That’s My Ball (asi/91082) – currently offer Contigo products, according to ASI’s ESP search engine.

Newell’s deal to purchase Ignite is the first major acquisition by the firm since 2008. The Atlanta-based company posted net sales of $5.7 billion in 2013, up 2% from the previous year, while net income jumped 18% to $474.6 million.

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