Strategic rearrangement continues in the plastics housewares sector as Newell Brands Inc. has sold its Rubbermaid consumer storage totes business to United Solutions Corp. for undisclosed terms.
Newell announced the deal Jan. 13. The business represents about $70 million in annual sales.
The divestment announcement came only a day after Israeli housewares major Keter Plastics revealed its plans to build a new, $36-million manufacturing plant in Belen, N.M., and the same month that Sterilite Corp. announced plans for a new plant in Iowa.
United runs plastic housewares molding operations in its Leominster, Mass., headquarters plant, and in Sardis, Miss., and Gilbert, Ariz.
It does a mix of injection and blow molding to make storage totes, food containers, trash cans, pails and several other products for home and office use. In addition to its Rough & Rugged brand of trash cans, it has been licensed to sell blow-molded trash cans under the Rubbermaid tradename. It boasts that 99 percent of its sales are generated from products made in the United States.
United's crosstown rival in Leominster, Sterilite, previously in January revealed a proposal to spend $73 million for a new housewares factory and distribution center in Davenport, Iowa.
Newell announced in late 2016 its plan to buy Sistema Plastics, a major plastics housewares manufacturer based in Auckland, New Zealand.
The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2017, subject to customary conditions.
Newell will continue to manufacture a full range of kitchen, garage and closet organization, laundry and utility products, food storage and beverageware, coolers, outdoor storage and waste containers, and cleaning products, stated spokeswoman Nicole Quinlan in an email.
All of the 50 Rubbermaid employees in consumer storage totes in Calgary, Alberta, will transfer to United following the sale. Other Rubbermaid operations are unaffected by the United deal, including facilities in Winfield, Kan., and Mogadore, Ohio, Quinlan explained.
“The Rubbermaid consumer storage business is strongly positioned to grow and continue to be a leader in developing durable solutions for everyday storage use,” Quinlan stated.
United's origins date to 1919, when Eugene Tourigny started United Comb & Novelty Co. in Leominster. In 1986 it entered the plastic housewares market.