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M&A & Restructuring

Newell Brands continues its restructuring efforts under an expanded accelerated transformation plan, which includes the divesting of two more brands and applying all after-tax proceeds (an estimated $10 billion) from its divestitures to debt. Jostens and Pure Fishing are added to the chopping block along with non-core businesses Rubbermaid Commercial Products, Rubbermaid Outdoor/Closet/Refuge and Garage, Process Solutions, Rawlings, Goody, U.S. Playing Cards, and Mapa/Spontex/Quickie. Newell expects to complete all transactions by the end of 2019.

Newell Brands will emerge a slimmer global consumer goods company with net sales of over $9 billion for housewares brands including Oster, Sunbeam, Calphalon, Crock-Pot, Mr. Coffee, Sistema, Ball, Rubbermaid, Food Saver, Coleman, and Contigo. Other remaining divisions cover home fragrance, writing, baby, and security.

NASCAR may be up for sale, according to reports from both Reuters and NBC claiming that the majority owners of NASCAR are “exploring options” for the future of the organization, including the sale of their entire stake. The France family, which controls NASCAR, is working with investment bank Goldman Sachs Group to identify a potential buyer. The reports state that any plans are only at the exploratory stage and no agreement of any kind is certain.

Eurazeo, the private equity firm that owns Asmodee Group, is exploring a sale of Asmodee at a price that could reach over €1.5 billion ($1.79 billion), Reuters reports.

Nashville-based guitar maker Gibson files for bankruptcy, citing $500 million in debt linked to the acquisition of its overseas consumer electronics business. Gibson plans to exit Chapter 11 in Sept. after liquidating its headphones, speakers, and accessories businesses in addition to reorganizing its musical instruments and professional audio business. Gibson’s brands include Les Paul, Baldwin, and Wurlitzer.

Fairfax Financial Holdings gets the go-ahead from the American and Canadian courts to purchase the Canadian arm of Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us in a transaction expected to close this quarter, pending applicable regulatory approvals. Unlike its counterpart below the borderline, TRU Canada has enjoyed strong standalone profitability, earning over $1 billion annually over the last three years.


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