Jarden Will Acquire Waddington Group for About $1.35 Billion

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James Lillie
Jarden Corp. CEO, James Lillie. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Jarden Corp., the sprawling consumer-goods company whose products range from K2 skis to Yankee Candle, is buying Waddington Group Inc. for about $1.35 billion to add disposable cups, plates and plastic utensils.

Jarden agreed on terms with Olympus Partners, the private-equity owner of Waddington, according to a statement on Monday. Jarden plans to finance the deal through a combination of cash, common equity, and a mix of bank debt and bonds, and the transaction is slated to close in the third quarter.

Waddington, which specializes in manufacturing high-end plastic cutlery and biodegradable plates, adds to Jarden’s empire of consumer-goods brands. The Boca Raton, Florida-based company owns a diverse portfolio spanning household products, clothing and sports equipment. That includes the Coleman camping line, Nuk baby products and Bicycle playing cards.

“Jarden’s global presence, capabilities and scale will help Waddington’s expansion into new markets,” Jarden Chief Executive Officer James Lillie said in the statement.

Shares of Jarden rose 4 percent to $54.41 at 9:36 a.m. in New York. The stock had climbed 9.3 percent this year through the end of last week, outpacing the 1.3 percent gain in the Russell 1000 Index.

Waddington will contribute about $800 million to 2016 revenue, Jarden said. The business has grown by 3 percent to 5 percent annually, in line with Jarden’s growth rate, according to the statement. The deal is expected to increase Jarden’s adjusted earnings per share slightly in 2015 and by about 5 percent in 2016.

Sales Growth

Jarden had sales of $8.29 billion in 2014, up 13 percent from a year earlier. Still, analysts have predicted that its growth will stall this year. That’s put pressure on the company to expand into new markets.

Jarden’s founder and chairman, Martin Franklin, has a reputation as an ambitious dealmaker. He built Jarden into a company valued at $10.1 billion, mostly through acquisitions. Franklin also has interests in specialty chemicals and frozen foods.

In a separate agreement announced on Monday, Franklin teamed up with fellow billionaire Nicolas Berggruen to buy the electronic-chemical business Alent Plc for 1.35 billion pounds ($2.1 billion). The deal will bolster the part of their investment firm that serves makers of mobile phones and cars.

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