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The Deal: Newell Rubbermaid Divests Hardware Biz

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- London investment firm Nova Capital Management said Friday it has agreed to acquire Newell Rubbermaid (NWL) hardware businesses for about $214 million.

The assets exchanging hands include the Amerock, Ashland and Shur-Line brands. The sale allows Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid to focus on its core assets while it gives Nova a chance to continue expanding its North American presence.

Shares of Newell Rubbermaid were slightly lower in Friday trading, off 0.19% to $26.76.

Newell Rubbermaid announced on May 3 it had hired Rothschild to shop its hardware portfolio. The brands being sold sell picture hangers, levelers, painting supplies and other metal-based hardware. Newell Rubbermaid expects the businesses to generate about $255 million in sales for 2013. The company expects after-tax cash proceeds from the divestiture of around $175 million.

"When we announced our intention to sell the businesses, our goal was to find a strategic acquirer that is committed to investing in our brands and growing the businesses, creating opportunities to expand distribution, manufacturing and sourcing," Newell Rubbermaid general manager and vice president Nick Morrisroe said in a statement.

Morrisroe will remain in his role after the deal is completed, expected by the end of the third quarter, while Nova partner David Jacobs will join the target's board.

"In addition to their strong foundational attributes, these businesses should also benefit from the up-turns in the U.S. housing, home improvement and consumer markets," Jacobs said in a statement.

"Our priority is to accelerate the current plans in place to optimize these businesses for future growth through stewardship and appropriate investment."

Jacobs joined Nova earlier this year to help the firm open its Chicago office.

In July, Newell Rubbermaid sold its Mimio and Headsprout teaching technology brands to Beverly Hills, Calif.-based private equity firm Skyview Capital for undisclosed terms. It is not believed the consumer conglomerate is actively shopping any other assets.

--Written by Demitri Diakantonis in New York

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