Newell Brands to sell Processing Solutions unit for about $500 million

(Reuters) - Newell Brands Inc said on Monday it would sell its Processing Solutions business to private equity firm One Rock Capital Partners LLC for about $500 million, as part of the company’s $10 billion divestiture plan aimed at streamlining operations and cutting costs.

The latest divestiture announcement comes days after the company said its chief Executive Officer Michael Polk would retire at the end of second quarter, following a year of disappointing sales.

Newell Brands, owner of popular brands such as Elmer’s glue, Crock Pot cooker and Yankee candles, has been divesting its non-core businesses after more than doubling in size following its 2016 acquisition of Jarden Corp.

In 2018, the company came under pressure from activist investor Starboard Value LP over the Jarden deal. Investor Carl Icahn helped Newell settle the proxy fight with Starboard by giving board seats. As per an agreement with Icahn, Newell raised its asset sales target to about $10 billion from $6 billion.

As part of the turnaround plan, Newell sold its Jostens and Pure Fishing businesses for about $2.5 billion in November. The company had earlier sold disposable cutlery and drinkware Waddington Group and Rawlings Sporting Goods.

The Processing Solutions business, which manufactures custom-designed plastic, nylons and zinc products, saw about $640 million in net sales in 2018, the company said in a statement.

After tax, proceeds from the divestiture are expected to be around $500 million, it added.

Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC was the financial adviser to Newell.

Reporting by Soundarya J in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli