Newell's Waddington Is Said to Draw Bidders Including Novolex

(Bloomberg) -- Packaging companies Novolex Holdings Inc. and Faerch Plast A/S are among the bidders for Newell Brands Inc.’s Waddington Group Inc. as the consumer-goods conglomerate pushes ahead with divesting assets, people familiar with the matter said.

Disposable tableware-maker Hoffmaster Group Inc., backed by Wellspring Capital Management LLC, is also a potential buyer of the Newell unit, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. Novolex is backed by Carlyle Group LP, while Faerch is owned by Advent International.

First-round bids have been submitted and Waddington is expected to fetch about $2.2 billion in a sale, one of the people said. Newell has hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to run an auction, the people said. A final agreement hasn’t been reached and a sale might not happen, they said.

Newell has also held discussions about selling its hair-styling accessories business Goody Products Inc., they said.

Representatives for Newell, Novolex, Hoffmaster, Carlyle, Advent and Wellspring declined to comment. JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs also declined to comment. A Faerch representative couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Waddington’s products include plastic dishes, storage containers and utensils.

Starboard, Icahn

In January, Newell announced a transformation plan that involves selling several brands as it retreats from a debt-fueled acquisition spree. Newell is embroiled in a proxy fight with activist fund Starboard Value, which argues that the company’s plans to streamline operations as part of an agreement last month with billionaire investor Carl Icahn won’t be enough to turn around the business.

Newell, based in Hoboken, New Jersey, gained control of Waddington through its 2016 acquisition of Jarden Corp. Jarden had bought the company from private equity firm Olympus Partners in 2015.

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