Jarden Corp. will buy the Mapa Spontex Baby Care and Home Care business unit of French oil company Total SA in a $500 million deal that will give it broader access to new markets in Europe and South America and new products for North America.
The acquisition includes both plastics and rubber products marketed under the brand names Nuk, Tigex, Lillo and First Essentials in the baby-care industry and Mapa, Spontex and Calypso in home care. The division generated $800 million in sales in 2008.
Jarden's consumer products are marketed under a variety of brand names including Coleman, Mr. Coffee and Oster.
We don't have the infrastructure in place [in Europe] to launch products there now as well as they can, Jarden CEO Martin Franklin said in a Dec. 17 conference call.
While Mapa Spontex is a key player in prime markets in Europe, it has only one major name brand in the U.S. Nuk. Mapa Spontex also has name recognition and business in southern South America, especially Argentina and Brazil, where Jarden wants to expand.
The firms expect to close the deal early in the second quarter of 2010. Rye, N.Y.-based Jarden will finance it through earnings set aside for more than two years. The consumer products firm, which includes injection molder Jarden Plastic Solutions, has been cautious in waiting for the right opportunity, Franklin said.
The move should improve opportunities for Mapa Spontex, which is now a non-core operation of a firm focused on oil and chemicals, he said. Jarden, meanwhile, is a consumer products firm that has wanted to get further into juvenile and baby products and expand its global reach.
There are certain technologies and [research and development] efforts we have for things like making breast pumps where our know-how in appliances can be helpful in speeding their product development, Franklin said.
Baby products are a particularly strong new market for Jarden because the business is very steady year-round, unlike existing product lines in camping, skiing and other seasonal products, he said. The sales are also fairly resilient to recessionary cutbacks by consumers.
The firms may be able to consolidate overhead costs and resin purchasing dollars, but Jarden executives said there is little overlap between products and geography. Mapa Spontex should be able to expand in North America, while Jarden will take its product lines into new regions.
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