WPC Brands denies rumors of company sale

Faster than an outbreak of West Nile virus, rumors spread in late October that WPC Brands was being sold.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Faster than an outbreak of West Nile virus, rumors spread in late October that WPC Brands was being sold.



WPC Brands owns outdoor health and safety products, including Atwater Carey First Aid Kits, Repel Insect Repellents, Reflect Sun Care Products and Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets.



Despite the rumblings, WPC Brands President Jim Burt told SNEWS that these are just rumors.



"WPC Brands has not been sold," he said. "There are rumors to that effect because we have a financial partner that is past its planned five-year horizon, and wants to get liquidity. We've agreed to provide that, and we've been looking at a number of alternatives, which starts the inevitable rumors."



Burt said the financial partner wants to exit "because they have started their own fund with totally different targets for their investment, in situations where they control them, rather than being a minority investor."



Sources told SNEWS that United Industries, owner of Cutters repellents, was interested in acquiring WPC Brands. In stores such as Wal Mart, WPC Brands is a main competitor for Cutters, and sources say United Industries would love to eliminate that competition.



Burt would not comment on United Industries.



He did emphasize that no one should infer from any rumors that WPC Brands is financially unhealthy. "This year our productivity has increased dramatically. The company closed its fiscal year at the end of October with record earnings," he said.



Burt said that sales have grown 20 percent over the past year, boosted by increased concern over the West Nile virus.



While insect repellents represent a large portion of WPC's sales, Burt said he hopes to strengthen its other outdoor specialty products and "make them more equivalent with the contribution we get from our insect repellent line."



SNEWS View: Talk about a convoluted rumor mill that keeps changing shape faster than an amoeba. Inside sources close to the deals (note we used the plural, though, don't take us to the bank on that) tell us the favorite rumor is that Katadyn/PUR will be acquiring Potable Aqua and PA -- though Katadyn has declined official comment. While we are sure Katadyn might be interested, the company just announced the launch of its own water-purification tablet under the Micropur brand name. The tablet is the only purification tablet registered with the EPA and works by forming Chlorine Dioxide once dropped in the water. It is also rumored that Doctor Outdoors (a manufacturer of lotions and potions, including sun blocks) will be acquiring Atwater Carey. As for United Industries, it appears that deal is an on-again, off-again bid, with the latest info telling us that the deal is most likely off at least for the next few months. Again, no official word. Why would UI want to bid for Repel brands? To either offer another alternative to its Cutter line for the specialty market is one view, or to deep-six the line and eliminate competition would be another. We'll of course keep you posted.


Related

Retailer Omni Fitness for sale? Rumors continue, company says no

So is it for sale or is it not? Omni Fitness, the country's largest specialty fitness retail chain, has been rumored on and off for months to be on the market by Brunswick Corp., its owner since March 2001 and also parent of Life Fitness. Responses to that rumor vary slightly. ...read more

Stop the rumors: Fila is sold

After months and months of speculation, the rumors can now stop. Fila Holding SpA (NYSE: FLH) announced late Friday it will sell all its direct subsidiaries (sports shoes and clothing businesses), including Fila USA Inc., to Sport Brands International LLC for $351 million. Sport ...read more

Fitness financials: Forzani Group denies rumors about takeover, plus Everlast, Payless/Stride Rite, Foot Locker, Big 5, Costco

Forzani Group denies rumors about takeoverForzani Group Ltd. (FGL.TO), Canada's largest retailer of sporting goods, said it was not in talks with any party about a takeover, though it receives inquiries about acquisitions from time to time. Forzani said it has received such ...read more

Rumors of Woods Canada demise false

While rumors have been circulating that the Woods Canada brand has met its end, David Earthy, president and managing director of Woods Canada, told SNEWS® that the rumors are not true. While the Canadian manufacturer of outdoor gear will close its Toronto factory and cease ...read more

United Industries Acquires WPC Brands

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Or even better, acquire 'em. United Industries, the second largest insect-repellent manufacturer, announced Dec. 6 that it acquired WPC Brands, which owns Repel Insect Repellents, Atwater Carey First Aid Kits, Reflect Sun Care Products and Potable ...read more

Woolrich remaining privately owned, despite rumors to the contrary

Despite what was reported in the New York Post on April 6, and what was subsequently parroted by other trade news services, Woolrich is not being sold and will remain private. Roswell Brayton Jr., Woorich's president and CEO, spoke exclusively to SNEWS® to dispel the rumor and ...read more

lendal-logo.jpg

Rumors swirl that Johnson Outdoors is selling Lendal Paddles

Johnson Outdoors is rumored to be selling Lendal Paddles. According to insiders as well as recent information published in paddling blogs, this is one rumor that could prove to be true. And, according to one blogger, Lendal might be returning to the United Kingdom, and to one ...read more

Bidders for StairMaster Ready, Cybex Sale Rumors Resurface

With StairMaster's auction on the calendar for Jan. 17, SNEWS has learned that a non-fitness company may try to shoulder out at least one major fitness companies to win StairMaster as an investment. The Reiss Companies, a privately held family business based in New Orleans, ...read more

Rumors fly about whether a Bally sale is pending

Sometimes the only place to go when you've reached the top is down. That could be the case for Bally Total Fitness Holdings Corp. (NYSE: BFT) as reports continue to swirl around the company and its stock-piling troubles. Last week, financial news service The Daily Deal reported ...read more