Spectrum, CVC in Advanced Talks on $2 Billion Conair Deal

Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. and private equity firm CVC Capital Partners are in advanced talks to acquire hair-dryer maker Conair Corp., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The deal could value Stamford, Connecticut-based Conair at about $2 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The suitors aim to reach an agreement within weeks, though negotiations could still fall apart, the people said.

Spectrum shares gained as much as 2.2% in Friday trading. They were up 1.2% at 9:47 a.m. in New York, giving the company a market value of $3.5 billion and putting it on track to close at the highest level since September 2018. The benchmark S&P 500 Index rose 0.5%.

Closely held Conair, founded in 1959 by Lee Rizzuto, makes products including hair dryers and curling irons. It also sells professional styling equipment under the BaByliss PRO brand and owns kitchen appliance maker Cuisinart, according to its website.

Spectrum’s portfolio of brands already includes George Foreman grills, Remington shavers, Breadman baking equipment and Russell Hobbs kettles. It’s been expanding through acquisitions, spending $180 million last year to purchase Armitage Pet Care Ltd., the U.K. maker of Good Boy dog treats. Spectrum also bought fish-food producer Omega Sea LLC for an undisclosed sum.

Representatives for Spectrum and Conair didn’t respond to requests for comment, while a spokesperson for CVC declined to comment.

Any transaction will add to the $8.3 billion of deals involving appliance makers announced over the past 12 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Italian coffee-machine manufacturer De’ Longhi SpA said in November it will acquire the maker of NutriBullet blenders, while Turkey’s Arcelik AS agreed last month to take over Hitachi Ltd.’s overseas white goods business.

Royal Philips NV is also selling its home appliance arm, which makes everything from coffee makers to air purifiers. CVC was among several large buyout firms that initially expressed interest in the Philips unit, but the Dutch company shortlisted a clutch of Asian suitors, people familiar with the matter said this week.

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