Newell boardroom battle ends but future of brands is unclear
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The battle for control of the boardroom at the owner of Pure Fishing has come to an unexpected end, but the future of many of the companies within the group is still unclear.
Wall Street observers believe that Newell Brands will continue to sell off some of the Jarden Corporation brands it acquired in the April 2016 takeover of its rival and that further details could be announced when Newell reports its First Quarter results on Friday.
Now that the bitter boardroom battle ignited by hedge fund Starboard Value is over, Newell CEO Michael Polk has said that the business can now focus exclusively on its transformation plans and its efforts to strengthen its financial and operational performance.
“We have listened to and agreed with our shareholders’ desire to see this campaign reach a constructive resolution. We believe the steps we have taken to expand our transformation plan is the right path to significant value creation and to a simpler, stronger and faster Newell Brands. I look forward to working with our Board of Directors to execute our plan and deliver results to shareholders.”
Analysts tracking the fortunes of Newell Brands, owner of famous brands including Rubbermaid, Paper Mate, Yankee Candle and Graco, believe that the next divestitures could affect the outdoor and recreation division of which Pure Fishing is part. An expert at Wells Fargo, the Californian-based multi-national financial services company, is reported in the Sporting Goods Bulletin (SGB) as saying: “We note that these businesses have fairly unique distribution channels, including sporting goods and speciality retailers.”
He estimated that the fishing brands, which include Berkley, Shakespeare, Penn and Abu Garcia, could fetch up to $624.4 million.
“We believe there will be no shortage of buyers for the businesses that will be sold, which could include J2, an investment vehicle run for former Jarden Corporation executives.”
Lauren Lieberman, from Barclays, agreed that Pure Fishing could potentially be sold and put the business value at between $600 million and $700 million.
Angling International has tried to contact Newell Brands on two occasions for a comment, but has received no reply.