Spectrum Brands, Apollo eye Stanley B&D unit: sources

NEW YORK Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:20pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc (SPB.N) and Apollo Global Management LLC (APO.N) are bidding for a Stanley Black & Decker Inc (SWK.N) unit that makes door locks and bath fixtures, according to three people familiar with the matter, in a deal that could be worth around $1.5 billion.

The two bidders, which are among a handful of parties that submitted final bids earlier in September, appear to be the frontrunners to buy Stanley Black & Decker's hardware and home-improvement business, the people said.

Stanley Black & Decker, which has hired Goldman Sachs Group (GS.N) to shop the business, has yet to decide which party to sell the business to, the people said, adding that a deal could come in the next few weeks. The unit makes a range of home accessories under brands such as Baldwin, Weiser Lock, Kwikset and Price Pfister.

A deal would be a big bite for Spectrum Brands, which has a market value of just over $2 billion. The Madison, Wisconsin-based consumer products company makes Rayovac batteries and sells small home appliances under the George Foreman and Black & Decker brands.

Representatives for Stanley Black & Decker, Spectrum Brands and Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Apollo declined to comment.

Based in New Britain, Connecticut, Stanley Black & Decker makes hardware, hand and power tools and industrial equipment. The $12 billion home equipment company was created in 2010 through a $4.5 billion all-stock merger that combined Stanley's black-and-yellow hand tools with Black & Decker's power tools and door knobs.

The business is among several assets that industrial conglomerates have put on the auction block this year in an effort to streamline their business lines and focus on higher-growth areas.

In July, United Technologies Corp (UTX.N) struck a $3.46 billion deal to sell its Hamilton Sundstrand industrial businesses to private equity firms Carlyle Group LP (CG.O) and BC Partners. Last month, DuPont Co (DD.N) agreed to sell its car paint unit to Carlyle for $4.9 billion.

(Reporting by Soyoung Kim, Michael Erman and Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Gary Hill and Tim Dobbyn)

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