Lifetime Brands acquires Creative Tops, Creative Tops Far East
Garden City N.Y.-based Lifetime Brands, a provider of kitchenware, tabletop, home decor and lifestyle products, has acquired Creative Tops Limited and Creative Tops Far East Limited (CTFE).
Creative Tops is a wholesale provider of tableware, kitchenware and giftware products in the United Kingdom. CTFE is based in Hong Kong and provides sourcing and other services for Creative Tops and its customers.
For its fiscal year ended March 31, Creative Tops and CTFE had combined net revenues of about $42.3 million.
"The acquisition of Creative Tops and CTFE represents a compelling, multifaceted opportunity that will allow us to accelerate our growth and to strengthen our business,” said Jeffrey Siegel, Lifetime’s chairman, president and CEO. "Creative Tops is a highly regarded provider of private-label and branded housewares products.
"The acquisition reflects our ongoing commitment to building shareholder value through growth in revenues, net income and diluted earnings per share. Together with Lifetime’s established partnerships in North and Central America, this strategic combination creates a global leader in the housewares business with a focus on quality and innovation."
Creative Tops markets its products to department stores, supermarket groups, home and garden centers and other housewares retailers and independent shops in the United Kingdom, and retailers in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan and the United States.
CTFE provides product design, sourcing, quality assurance, ethical compliance and audit, merchandising, logistics, order fulfillment and other services for Creative Tops, as well as for its global retailer partners that choose to develop their own in-line or seasonal offerings and promotions.
Lifetime was advised by Livingstone Partners, trans-Atlantic corporate finance advisers specializing in cross-border M&A.
Armstrong acquires Simplex Ceilings
Lancaster, Pa.-based Armstrong World Industries has acquired Intalite Inc., operating under the name Simplex. The acquisition will strengthen Armstrong’s capabilities in the North American specialty ceiling market and supports the company’s growth strategy, including the expansion of its global leadership and manufacturing presence in targeted markets.
Terms of the purchase were not disclosed. Simplex will become part of the Armstrong Building Products division.
"The acquisition of Simplex expands our technical capabilities, broadens our extensive specialty ceilings portfolio and improves our service and lead times for customers in North America,” said Mike Shirk, VP of Armstrong Architectural Specialties Worldwide. “Simplex is a respected company in specialty metal ceilings with a strong team that understands the importance of responsiveness and practical design solutions. That’s what our customers are telling us they need. Simply put, our strategy is to offer the broadest set of innovative ceiling solutions with market-leading service and quality. Simplex is a great fit."
Montreal, Quebec-based Simplex designs, develops and manufactures specialty metal ceiling systems for a variety of market segments and applications, with sales primarily in the United States and Canada.
Armstrong World Industries designs and manufactures floors, ceilings and cabinets. In 2010, the company’s consolidated net sales were about $2.8 billion.
Next up in the digital sweepstakes: MyLowes.com
The race for the winning e-commerce formula continues. The latest effort comes from Mooresville, N.C., where the nation’s second-largest home improvement retailer is taking a holistic approach to engaging customers across channels.
Lowe’s launched its MyLowes Web-based tool last month and described it as a digital effort to help consumers maintain, manage and dream about home improvement.
“Customers expect to be engaged and in control throughout the entire home improvement experience — from inspiration to enjoyment,” said Tom Lamb, Lowe’s senior VP marketing and advertising. “MyLowes will enable our customers to track and manage their homes all in one place, and it will allow Lowe’s employees to be better equipped to help meet the needs of our customers.”
One key feature of the “integrated online experience” is its ability to allow customers to automatically track and store their purchases along with their customer profile online.
The company said customers can expect additions to the tool. It already offers features such as:
• A MyLowes card or key fob to track in-store purchases online;
• Home profile to create rooms and store floor dimensions, product details and notes;
• Folders and lists to organize products, projects and ideas;
• Purchase history from all purchase points; and
• Paint formula tracking after checkout.
The MyLowes tool follows on the heels of the company’s new marketing slogan: “Never stop improving.”