Spirits conglomerate Brown-Forman (BFB) is exploring strategic alternatives -- including a possible sale -- for its Hartmann leather goods and luggage division.
"Hartmann is positioned to significantly improve its performance and it deserves the attention required to accomplish that goal. It's certainly possible that Hartmann could benefit from investors who are exclusively focused on the success of that business, or perhaps from those who can find ways of integrating the remarkable Hartmann brand into their pre-existing routes to market," said Paul Varga, Brown-Forman's CEO, in a Wednesday press release.
After Brown-Forman's sale of Lenox in 2005, Hartmann is its sole remaining business that is outside the company's core beverage portfolio. Hartmann had sales of $32 million in the fiscal year ended April 30, 2006, which represented less than 2% of Brown-Forman's total sales of $2.4 billion in fiscal 2006.
Hartmann employs about 250 people, the vast majority of whom work in the U.S.
Shares of Brown-Forman closed Wednesday up 7 cents to $75.66.