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
Companies & Associations

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

Clopay Plastics suing Berry over breathable film trade secrets

April 23, 2015 2:08 pm ET

Clopay Plastics Products Co. is alleging Berry Plastics Group Inc. stole trade secrets involving its breathable film technology used for baby and...    More

Image

Appliance giant eyes in-house recycling, compounding

April 22, 2015 6:00 am ET

The world's largest residential air conditioner manufacturer is looking into in-house compounding of recycled plastics.    More

Image

Economic déjà vu: strong spring growth expected after a rough winter

April 15, 2015 2:03 pm ET

The long, harsh winter is finally over, and the first quarter of the calendar is history. So now is an appropriate time to review the emerging trends ...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 15, 2015 - September 17, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events