China's Goodbaby International buying Evenflo

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: June 11, 2014 11:54 am ET
Updated: June 11, 2014 3:23 pm ET

Image By: Evenflo

Related to this story

Topics Consumer Products, Mergers & Acquisitions, China

A Chinese major in durable infant products is poised to acquire North American production assets.

Goodbaby International Holdings Ltd. has agreed to buy Evenflo Co. Inc. for US$143 million. Evenflo’s sales last year were US$208 million, according to documents filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The purchase agreement is binding but contingent on Goodbaby shareholder approval.

Goodbaby designs, develops, manufactures and sells products such as baby strollers. Evenflo makes a range of juvenile products, from car seats to feeding bottles sold through large retailers like Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, Target, Buy Buy Baby and Amazon.

Evenflo said in a June 6 news release that more than 70 percent of its sales are derived from items it makes in Piqua, Ohio, and Tijuana, Mexico. Goodbaby, based in Kunshan City, Suzhou, China, produces plastics-intensive goods in Kunshan and Ningbo, China.

Evenflo Chief Operating Officer Steve Strife said in a telephone interview that the company “has every expectation that Piqua will grow, whether through organic growth or through transfer of work from China.”

In a report in the Dayton Business Journal, Evenflo CEO Scott Weiss indicated Evenflo could announce expansion plans for Ohio by early 2015. Evenflo now employs about 400 in Ohio, about two-thirds in Piqua. The 500,000-square-foot Piqua plant has enough adjacent space to double in size. Piqua makes car seats and most of the Exersaucer products. In total, Evenflo employs about 700.

Strife said the first order of business after the deal is finalized is for Goodbaby and Evenflo to work out their commercial strategies, “and from that will flow the manufacturing strategies.”

“We don’t see work moving from Ohio to China,” Strife added. “In the last two years we have returned a lot of car seat production to Piqua as it became more cost effective.”

Piqua mainly injection molds car seat components and assembles the seats using soft components imported from China and purchased metal parts. Strife said Piqua’s injection presses have clamping forces of 800 tons and larger. He said the plant runs “more than 12 presses but fewer than 24.” It has 20 assembly lines making car seats.

Evenflo imports finished goods like strollers and jumpers from China.

Evenflo has high brand awareness in North America and leads in many juvenile categories with its Evenflo, Exersaucer and Snugli trade names. More than 90 percent of its sales are made in the United States and Canada. Its portfolio includes car seats, travel systems, safety gates, high chairs, play yards, activity centers, infant carriers, feeding bottles and doorway jumpers.

A key attraction to Goodbaby is Evenflo’s profile in juvenile car seats. The acquisition will boost Goodbaby’s portfolio to include mid-priced to value-priced safety car seats. Goodbaby, already a major in car seats, will be able to increase its share of the rapidly growing juvenile car seat market. Goodbaby’s lineup overlaps Evenflo’s in many categories, including strollers, in which it is a global player. Its stake in cribs, bicycles and some other durables would complement Evenflo product lines.

Goodbaby has been listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since 2010. For the year ended Dec. 31, it logged sales of HK$4.19 billion (US$540.5 billion) and profit from continuing operations of HK$171.1 million (US$22.1 million). In addition to its own brands, it makes juvenile products such as strollers for third parties.

Earlier this year, Goodbaby made its first acquisition when it bought Cybex GmbH, a Bayreuth, Germany-based producer of premium car seats. The deal gave Goodbaby big exposure in Europe, where Cybex is a major brand, as well as an entry into high-end car seats.

Evenflo was established in Ravenna, Ohio, in 1920. Its headquarters is in Miamisburg, Ohio. Investment firm Weston Presidio of Boston bought the firm in 2007. Evenflo claims to hold top or second-largest market share positions in North America in several product categories.

In Mexico Evenflo makes safety gates and other wooden products.


Comments

China's Goodbaby International buying Evenflo

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: June 11, 2014 11:54 am ET
Updated: June 11, 2014 3:23 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Toy supplier sues maker in reshoring fight

September 15, 2014 3:18 pm ET

An Arkansas toy supplier is suing a Taiwan-based manufacturer for breach of contract and other civil allegations in a legal dispute that not only...    More

Image

ZF finalizes deal to buy TRW, creating another global auto supply giant

September 15, 2014 1:09 pm ET

TRW Automotive Holdings, in a supply chain megadeal that has been in the works since mid-July, said Sept. 15 it has agreed to be acquired by German...    More

Image

Sabic, Chinese Academy of Sciences sign five-year development agreement

September 15, 2014 11:54 am ET

Ties between one of the world's biggest oil producers and one of its biggest consumers grew tighter Sept. 12 with the announcement of a five-year...    More

Image

China's Zhongtai Chemical calls off large-scale PVC project

September 12, 2014 2:16 pm ET

Accepting the gloomy reality of the PVC market, Xinjiang Zhongtai Chemical Co. Ltd. has officially canceled a 800,000-ton PVC resin project and...    More

Image

Germany's Lehmann & Voss buys U.S.-based Performance Compounding

September 12, 2014 11:36 am ET

German compounding firm Lehmann & Voss & Co. KG has acquired Performance Compounding LLC for an undisclosed price.    More

Market Reports

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events