The Cisneros Group is exploring options to sell all or part of Tampa, Fla.-based Spalding & Evenflo Cos. Inc. in order to concentrate on opportunities in the telecommunications industry. The Cisneros Group, headquartered in Caracas, Venezuela, purchased the Spalding sporting goods company in combination with Evenflo in 1984.
Spalding was founded in 1876 and claims to be one of the oldest and largest sporting goods companies in the world. Evenflo is recognized as a producer of plastic products for infants and juveniles.
Cisneros Group is a diversified private enterprise involved in broadcasting, television networks, cable, satellites, music and film production, programming and distribution that reaches 39 countries. The group also is involved in consumer products, food and beverages, high-tech retail and mining.
The company issued a news release outlining its intentions April 30. There are no prospective buyers as yet, said company spokesman Mark Semer.
Evenflo began in 1920 as a manufacturer of latex nipples and is headquartered in Piqua, Ohio. It uses injection molding and blow molding to produce infant and juvenile products. A Canton, Ga., division produces infant feeding products, reusable and disposable baby bottle feeding systems, breastfeeding aids, pacifiers and oral development items. The Piqua plant manufactures infant furniture such as car seats, high chairs, toddler beds and cribs.
Some of the production is outsourced and those plastics manufacturers will not be affected by the sale.
In addition, company officials said there will be no layoffs of the 3,000 Spalding & Evenflo employees because of the transaction, and business will proceed as usual during the sale process.
Spalding & Evenflo's total brand product sales this year are expected to exceed $1 billion, according to the news release.