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Black & Decker could consider acquisitions to offset weakness

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Black & Decker has said it will consider acquiring other companies to cultivate growth in the midst of a housing slump, but those acquisitions “need to make financial sense,” according to company CFO Mike Mangan. For the fiscal year, Mangan said sales likely will stay flat.

Black & Decker took part in an analyst meeting on Sept. 12 in New York. Company representatives said overseas growth and cost cutting would help manage anticipated weak sales because of the U.S. housing slump.

“We don’t think things are going to get better in 2008, as far as the markets are concerned, but we do believe there are things we can do internally to grow earnings per share, even though the markets may not change,” said Nolan Archibald, Black & Decker CEO.

Towson, Md.-based Black & Decker is a global manufacturer and marketer of power tools, hardware, home improvement products, fastening systems and accessories.

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West Fraser names new senior vp

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Vancouver-based West Fraser Timber has named Larry Hughes as senior vp.

Hughes has served as lead legal counsel to West Fraser for the past 10 years. He oversaw a series of acquisitions in the past decade, including the company’s recent acquisition of 13 sawmills in the southern United States from International Paper.

Hughes served as a member of the law firm Lang Michener for 28 years.

West Fraser is a forest products company with operations in the United States, British Columbia and Alberta.

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Obituary: Harold Leviton, lighting industry innovator

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Harold Leviton, chairman and CEO of Leviton Manufacturing since 1965, died Sept. 8. He was 90 years old.

“I am deeply saddened that our industry has lost one of its foremost icons,” said Donald J. Hendler, Leviton president. “Those of us who knew Harold had a deep admiration and tremendous respect for him as a businessman with infinite passion for the electrical industry.”

Born in 1917 in Brooklyn, N.Y., Leviton grew up in the family business, frequently joining his father, Isidor, on visits to the family’s Greenpoint, Brooklyn factory, where he spoke to employees at all levels of the company and learned the business from the ground up.

After graduating from the University of Miami with a business degree in 1940, he began full-time employment at the company. Starting out in the stock room, he made his way through the company’s purchasing and personnel departments and eventually became director of personnel. Following the deaths of his brother Bernard and his father in 1965, Leviton became president, CEO and chairman of the company.

Under his 42-year-long leadership, Little Neck, N.Y.-based Leviton Manufacturing grew to become one of the leading companies in the electrical industry with a product portfolio consisting of more than 25,000 products used in homes, businesses and industrial facilities. 

Leviton was extremely active in the industry. He served as chairman of NEMA’s (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) Wiring Device Section and Building and Equipment Division and as an honorary member of its Board of Governors and chairman of the Electrical Manufacturing Council. In addition, he served as vice chairman emeritus of the National Electrical Safety Foundation (NESF).

He is survived by his wife of more than 65 years, Shirley; daughters, Patricia, Adrienne and Elizabeth; grandchildren; great-grandchildren; and sons-in-law, Donald J. Hendler and Steven B. Sokolow, both of whom sit on the company’s board of directors and hold senior executive positions with Leviton.

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