Last week, Spectrum Brands announced it would be selling its Global Battery and Appliance segment, which comprises Varta (in New Zealand) and the small appliances trio of Remington, George Foreman and Russell Hobbs.
This is a big deal with the segment contributing a substantial slice of Spectrum Brands' overall business, particularly in the New Zealand market.
Representing 40% of Spectrum Brands' total net sales, for the fiscal year ended 30 September 2017, the Global Batteries & Appliances segment generated net sales of almost US$2 billion, operating income of US$231 million (50% of the total) and adjusted EBITDA of US$317 million (fully a third of Spectrum Brands' overall EBITDA).
The company says in a statement: "This move will strengthen all of Spectrum’s categories.
"The Batteries and Appliances businesses will benefit from new owners who can focus their investment on the growth of these unique businesses.
"At the same time, the sale frees up capital for even greater investment in our Pet, Home & Garden, Global Auto Care and Hardware & Home Improvement businesses, which will remain within Spectrum Brands."
New Zealand GM, Amanda Carr, sent a letter to retailers on Monday emphasising that the local outlook is firmly business as usual and that any changes would be communicated as soon as possible.
"Until a potential sale is final, all our operations continue unchanged, so the products and services you are accustomed to getting from us will continue uninterrupted," she says in the communication.
"In making the sale, our objective remains to supply you with innovative products of superior value, and to cooperate closely with you to deliver exceptional service and support.
"Once the sale is complete, the increased focus and improved ability to invest in all our products and services — both within Batteries and Appliances and within our remaining categories—will only improve our ability to meet your needs.
"We are committed to transparent communications and will continue to inform you regularly about the progress throughout this process. As always, if you have any questions, please call me any time.
"Your business is highly valued and I am always available to ensure you have the products and level of service you expect from Spectrum Brands."
We'll bring you more as the process develops.
UPDATE: It was announced on 16 January that Energizer Holdings would be the new owner of Spectrum brands' batteries business (Rayovac and Varta) - go here for more detail.