Newell Rubbermaid (NWL) Inroduces New Growth Plan Following Jarden Combo

October 4, 2016 8:02 AM EDT

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Newell Brands Inc. (NYSE: NWL) announced a series of changes related to a comprehensive strategic review of its business conducted since the completion of the Newell Rubbermaid and Jarden combination. Newell Brands will transform from a holding company to an operating company and, with a new set of investment priorities and a sharpened set of portfolio choices, accelerate growth and performance by deploying a proven set of growth capabilities over a broader set of categories and by disproportionately resourcing the business with the greatest potential.

The company will simplify its operating structures consolidating the existing 32 Business Units to 16 Operating Divisions, including the creation of a new global enterprise-wide e-Commerce Division. The company will also focus and strengthen its portfolio by holding a number of businesses for sale, using the proceeds primarily to accelerate debt pay down, and creating a platform for future acquisitions that strengthen and scale the company’s core businesses.

The businesses held for sale represent about 10 percent of the portfolio and include the vast majority of the Tools Segment, the Winter Sports businesses within the Outdoor Solutions Segment, the Heaters, Humidifiers, and Fans businesses within the Consumer Solutions Segment, and the Consumer Storage Container business within the Home Solutions Segment. The total 2015 net sales of the businesses held for sale are approximately $1.5 billion, and include about $100 million of the $250 to $300 million of previously announced exits or assets held for sale.

“Newell Brands new strategic plan establishes a clear set of investment priorities, a new organization design for the company, and a sharp set of portfolio choices that will focus our resources on the businesses with the greatest potential for growth and value creation,” said Michael Polk, Newell Brands Chief Executive Officer. “We will drive growth acceleration over time through more effective and scaled commercial operations, increased investment in our brands and capabilities, and the delivery of bigger, better innovation across a broader set of categories. We will simultaneously expand margins through significant cost synergies and other savings related to the combination of Newell Rubbermaid and Jarden and other cost focused initiatives."

“The combination of Newell Rubbermaid and Jarden has created a unique platform for transformative value creation and the actions we are taking to reshape the company will unlock this opportunity, bringing greater investment and growth to our highest potential categories like Writing, Home Fragrance, Baby, Food Storage & Preparation, Appliances & Cookware, and Outdoor & Recreation. The choices we are making will strengthen the underlying growth and performance of our most strategic businesses and over time enable us to scale our core categories through external development,” said Mark Tarchetti, Newell Brands President.

The sale processes are underway and the company hopes to complete the divestiture of the assets held for sale within the first half of 2017. Proceeds from successful divestitures will be used primarily to accelerate the pay down of debt, with the goal of achieving the company’s stated objective of a leverage ratio of 3 to 3.5 times EBITDA. At a recent investor conference, the company announced that it expects to deliver $500 million in costs synergies by the end of 2018, an acceleration of cost synergy delivery relative to the original commitment of 3 to 4 years from the completion of the Newell Rubbermaid and Jarden Corporation combination on April 15, 2016. The acceleration of cost synergy delivery is connected in part to the announcement today of the consolidation of 32 Business Units to 16 Divisions. The actions announced today will not impact 2016 core sales or normalized EPS guidance. More details will be shared on the company’s third quarter earnings call on October 28, 2016.



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