Housewares company World Kitchen exploring sale -sources

Mon May 6, 2013 10:26am EDT

May 6 (Reuters) - World Kitchen, which makes and distributes popular kitchen and housewares products under brands including Pyrex, Corelle and CorningWare, is exploring a sale of the company, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

The Rosemont, Illionis-based company, spun off from Corning Inc in 1998, has hired Baird to shop the company in a deal that could be worth $600 million to $700 million, the sources said on Monday.

The sale process is in the early stages, the sources said, with management taking initial meetings with potential bidders. The company has roughly $75 million in annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, the sources said.

After being spun off from Corning, World Kitchen was acquired by Borden for about $600 million, according to reports at the time. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2002 and underwent financial reorganization. It is now backed by W Capital Partners and Oaktree Capital Partners.

The company makes products such as dinnerware, kitchen tools, cutlery and storage.

World Kitchen, Baird and W Capital Partners declined to comment. Oaktree could not be reached for comment.

World Kitchen has about 3,000 employees, according to the company website.