May 4, 2018 / 10:40 AM / 22 days ago

UPDATE 1-Newell to sell Waddington to Carlyle's Novolex for $2.3 billion

(Adds details on plan, background)

May 4 (Reuters) - Newell Brands Inc said on Friday it would sell Waddington Group to Novolex Holdings, a company owned by buyout firm Carlyle Group LP, for about $2.3 billion.

The sale of Waddington, which makes disposable cutlery and drinkware for the food service sector, would be the first major divestiture by Newell since it said in January it would explore options for several of its business lines, including Rubbermaid Commercial Products and Mapa.

Newell said it plans to expand the company’s accelerated transformation plan to include brands such as Jostens and Pure Fishing.

The new plan would include divestitures that account for about 35 percent of Newell’s sales and would lead to a 39 percent reduction in the number of employees.

Newell ended a proxy fight with Starboard last month, with the company agreeing to add three new directors to its board. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn agreed to give up two of the four seats he secured earlier this year to pave the way for adding two new independent directors.

Starboard has stated that it wants Newell to explore options for all of its assets.

Earlier this week, Reuters, citing sources, had reported about the Waddington deal. (Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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