North Castle Partners exits Ignite for $308m

The quick sale to Newell Rubbermaid marks the first big acquisition since 2008

Connecticut-based North Castle Partners will sell Ignite USA to Newell Rubbermaid for $308 million. The deal marks Newell Rubbermaid’s first major acquisition since 2008.

North Castle first purchased Ignite USA which makes environmentally friendly thermal mugs and containers, in 2013. The company sells its products under the Contigo and Avex brands in the US.

The sale represents the first realization from North Castle’s recently closed fifth fund. Fund V closed on $250 million last year. North Castle is an investor in a number of well-known US consumer companies including Jenny Craig and Curves.

Ignite is expected to deliver $125 million of net sales in 2014. The acquired business will become part of the Home Solutions segment with Contigo and Avex joining the company's Rubbermaid®, Calphalon®, Goody® and Levolor® brands. Newell is working through a multi-year restructuring and cost cutting initiative which has forestalled acquisitions like the Ignite deal in recent years.

The acquisition is expected to be financed through a combination of organic cash flow and available borrowings and is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2014.

Newell Rubbermaid was recently in the news for its ongoing recall of Graco car seat latches, which can fail to open leaving children stuck in the seats.