Energizer Holdings’s board of directors has authorized company management to pursue a plan to separate its Household Products and Personal Care divisions into two independent, publicly traded companies. The separation is planned as a tax-free spin-off to the company's shareholders and is expected to be completed in the second half of the 2015 fiscal year.
The separation is expected to create two strong independent public companies with distinct brands, categories and corporate strategies.
The personal care unit is expected to be a leading pure-play consumer products company with an “attractive stable of well-established brand names,” said the firm. Brands include Schick and Wilkinson Sword in Wet Shave; Edge and Skintimate in shave; Playtex, Stayfree, Carefree and o.b. in feminine care; and Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic in sun care.
The personal care division had annual revenue of approximately $2.6 billion in the trailing twelve month period ended March 31, 2014, adjusted on a pro-forma basis for an acquisition in feminine care, according to Energizer.
"Over the last three years, we have taken a number of important steps to enhance shareholder value, including executing a multi-year cost reduction plan, improving working capital, and initiating a dividend," said Ward M. Klein, Chief Executive Officer. "The Energizer Board of Directors and management team have continually explored opportunities to improve performance and increase long-term shareholder value and believe that separating the Household Products and Personal Care divisions is the next logical step to unlock even greater value for Energizer shareholders. Importantly, as we move through the separation process, the Company's working capital and cost reduction efforts will continue without interruption, and we expect to achieve the full savings projected.”
The household products unit will include the firm’s well-known batteries and portable lighting products sold under the Energizer and Eveready brand banners. Annual revenue was about $1.9 billion in the trailing twelve month period ended March 31, 2014, the company said.
"Since becoming an independent company in 2000, Energizer has built two successful divisions and each is now well-suited to realize its full potential on a standalone basis," Mr. Klein said. "We expect that Household Products will be well-positioned to leverage its leading brands and product portfolio to generate significant cash flows and the Personal Care business has achieved scale to be able to enhance its focus on continuing innovation and to drive top-line and market share growth."
The firm said it expect Personal Care to create value by building on its track record of innovation in product development and marketing to drive top-line growth and win market share. It has a broad portfolio of leading global wet shave, sun and skin care, feminine care and infant care products in attractive categories. Importantly, Personal Care, the firm said, has strong positions in large and developed markets, and its products hold #1 or #2 positions in their categories.
Upon completion of the separation, Ward Klein, currently CEO, is expected to serve as executive chairman of the board of standalone personal care. David Hatfield, currently president and chief executive officer of energizer personal care, is expected to serve as CEO of standalone Personal Care.