Blyth Inc. said it will spin off its wholesale business into a separately traded company, a move the scented candle maker said would lift its stock price and allow it to focus on reviving its direct selling and catalog and internet divisions.
The proposed spin-off will create the largest publicly traded wholesaler of decorative home products, with roughly 3,200 employees and estimated annual revenue of $700 million. In fiscal 2005, the wholesale segment contributed operating income of $30.7 million on $657 million in revenue, Blyth said. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of fiscal 2006.
Bruce G. Crain, president of the wholesale group, will be chief executive officer of the new company, which includes Blyth’s branded and private label candle markets in North America and Europe, as well its seasonal decorations business.