In a surprise move, or at least I was surprised, Stanley Black & Decker announced that it will be acquiring Newell’s tool businesses for $1.95 billion. The acquisitions will include Irwin and Lenox tool brands, and will presumably include child brands such as Vise Grip.
Noted in investor press materials, Stanley Black & Decker saw appeal and growth opportunities in Irwin’s and Lenox’s industrial cutting, hand tool and power tool accessory segments.
A big part of the deal, if you ask me, was depriving other brands of the opportunity to buy Irwin and Lenox.
When we discussed the news last week, about Newell putting the brands up for sale, I wrote about how I thought TTI was going to be the most interested party.
I saw too much overlap in Stanley Black & Decker’s portfolio, although Irwin and Lenox do manufacturer some tools not offered by Stanley Black & Decker brands, at least not those competing in the same spaces in the USA. Tools such as Lenox’s copper tubing cutters, and Irwin’s pipe wrenches, plus tooling such as Irwin and Hanson’s thread-cutting tap and die sets.
Many new Irwin tools have popped up at Lowes in recent months, a seeming push towards full spectrum offerings. Stanley Black & Decker already offers hammers, adjustable wrenches, pliers, and power tool accessories.
In addition to depriving other brands, such as TTI, the opportunity to benefit and grow from Irwin and Lenox, perhaps Stanley Black & Decker is after a wider presence at Lowes. It wasn’t too long ago that Bostitch hand tools were prominently featured at Lowes.
But to be fair, this is focusing in USA market presence. Let’s not forget that there are other regions and markets, which could have contributed greatly to the purchasing decision.
This is what Stanley Black & Decker has said about the acquisition:
Newell Tools is an industry leader with an array of strong brands and products that are highly complementary to Stanley Black & Decker. With LTM revenues of approximately $760 million, and low to mid-single digit average sales growth since 2011, Newell Tools is well-positioned to enhance the offerings and broaden the reach of Stanley Black & Decker’s global tools and storage business.
Newell Tools operates a global manufacturing footprint, maintains strong distribution relationships in its served markets, and has more than 2,500 employees around the world.
From a dollars and cents perspective, $760 million in 12 month revenue might lead to a positive return on the investment in a few years. It’ll cost a bunch more money to integrated everything into Stanley Black & Decker branding, but likely a small fraction compared to the $1.95 billion for the acquisition.
We’ll have to look back at this in a few years, to see how this deal changes anything for any of the brands involved.
Read More(via SBD Investor Relations)
Thank you Fred for the heads-up!
I heard this on the morning news.
Like you I thought about the overlaps – and probable drive for consolidations after the deal closes in 2017.
In the hand tool part of the business there seems to be lots of overlap as pictorially displayed with your comparison side-by-side photo of the Irwin and Dewalt pliers.
Maybe there is less sorting out to do with items like Hanson Taps and Dies but for drill bits, saw blades etc. Dewalt, Irwin and Lenox all seem to have overlaps.
So pretty much my thinking is Stanley Black n Decker will Run Irwin & Lennox as a stand alone business for first year then slowly intergeate them in. There are alot of customers who prefer the Irwin Lennox brand over Stanley so they will never kill the brands off. More so have them as a complimentary range.
Hand Tools is probably due for some consolidation, too many brands. The real winners of the recent market have been the OEM’s who make virtually the same products for multiple brands. Now they have fewer duplicitous customers, and those customers can drive harder bargains.
I would like Stanley B&D improves the quality of Vise Grips, but not really expecting that to happen. Except for Proto, everything they touch turns into Black & Decker.
Can’t edit my typos. Really irritating.
Nothing wrong with Dewalt, Porter Cable and Bostitch… Still make good quality tools. Black and Decker is Black and Decker and that’s it. The rest is still pretty good.
Irwin still make some of the better locking pliers. The other better options aren’t sold locally for most people so people still but Irwin and most really like them. I have some newer Irwin vice grips and still work extremely well, can’t go wrong with them.
At one time the Detroit car manufacturers had lots of brands and independent dealerships and they thought that more brands meant more sales overall. Then they had to compete with good cars from Europe and the constantly improving cars from Japan. As things changed – I believe that they found out that too many brands just confused the buyers – and one brand cannibalized sales from another. No more Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Saturn, Hummer, Mercury, Desoto and Plymouth – to name a few brands that got sorted out. There is an analogy here and I think we may be standing on the cusp of another sorting out. Why not allow the brands with the strongest market recognition and brand loyalty survive?
But looking back on past foibles (IMO) this may not happen. In the past I’ve scratched my head over questions like:
Why confuse us by slapping the Bostitch name on hand tools – when they really have a name for pneumatics and staplers? Why put the Record name (acquired by Newell-Rubbermaid) as they did on pipe wrenches from China when they were known for hand planes from England? Why degrade the Porter Cable brand to a mid-tier below Dewalt – when they were the premier woodworking small power tool brand? Why put the Lenox brand on hand tools – not well aligned with their saw business? How can a company (Black&Decker) that had so many industry first’s and produced top of the line tools like the Supersawcat – have ruined their brandname by selling so much junk.
I have thought the same thing many times
Sorry. There still isn’t a way to edit comments without 1) using a plugin that opens the site to vulnerabilities, or 2) using a 3rd party commenting system integration.
I’m not going to say you should proofread better, because my posts and comments aren’t error-free. Autocorrect in particular leads to some very strange comments at times.
This is a feature I do look into every few months. As soon as there’s a secure and reliable way to add comment editing, I’ll give it a try.
I could see some benefit for the accessories products for SBD, they might have been partners is some products anyway.
like holesaws etc.
On the other hand – how much of the newell rubbermaid know how might have also trickled into the purchase. I don’t recall any irwin branded storage bits.
likewise they get HILMOR too which is a AC/plumbing line up specifically the speciality AC tools. or some of them. good or bad I think it might be a good thing.
I forget just how big the newell corporation really is – mostly home goods that’s true.
Overlap, yes, snatching them up from the competition, yeppers. I see the biggest advantage SBD gets is in the disposables like bits and blades area. While strong there they now will have probably close to 50% of the market.
So happy that the Chinese didn’t get this it’s staying in America
Don’t be so sure dude.
These are brands, not manufacturers, they all still buy from the same Chinese OEM’s, with a few exceptions.
I’m glad Stanley bought them too, instead of some company in China. Hate to see them buying up US companies.
Some Lenox products I see are still made in USA which is great. Hope they keep them made in USA. Many Irwin products are made in China though.
Companies like Milwaukee are owned by China, and all their profits are going straight to the Chinese Communist Party.
TTI is publicly traded. Plenty of Americans own and profit from it’s stock.
TTI is a Taiwanese company, not Chinese. Big difference.
My personal experience with Irwin has been disappointing. Granted, I haven’t used every thing they make, only a couple of items, but those couple have been crap and have made me steer away from anything with the Irwin name on it unless I have no other choice.
I wonder if SBD will keep a few product lines and divest other ones. I think TTI might have been interested, but they have made some headway into hand tools with the growth of Milwaukee hand tools. Still surprised SBD bought it though.
Some interesting plays going on in the tool industry like Chervon buying Skill from Bosch.
It’s the same thing as Bass Pro buying Gander Mountain, like they say in real estate “more locations, more locations, more locations. Same thing when Sears put their Craftsman stuff in Ace stores, you can bet there was a lotta dollars involved there, suddenly craftsman sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers and other items became available in 20 times more convenient locations.
Irwin has only been a major brand for about a decade. It wouldn’t surprise me if it reverted back to focusing on bits and brands like Vise-Grip and Speedbor became sub-brands of Stanley
Depends on how you count “major”. Irwin was a well respected brand for augur bits for a long time. Their recent turn mirrors a lot of other old brands that get bought for the reputation and get spread around tools they never manufactured.
Absolutely. That may be because the “value” of the brand – sometimes carried as “goodwill” on the books of the company – is more significant than the value of manufacturing facilities or inventory. So a new owner may slap the brand on items manufactured by OEMs that have no connection to the original brand.
Your correct and it is indicative of what parent companies often do with their brand names. When I was a kid – Irwin was known for their auger bits and spade bits. Their solid center auger bits were the major competitor for the Russell-Jennings (a company acquired by Stanley) pattern bits. Once cordless drills became powerful – the brace and bit business shriveled up. Petersen (Vise Grip) having formed American Tool as a parent – acquired Irwin in 1993 and then Newell-Rubbermaid acquired American Tool in 2002. It was Newell-Rubbermaid that apparently decided that Irwin was the brand name that they would promote as their headliner – sometimes combining it with their other brand names like visegrip, marathon, marples, strait-line, speedbor, unibit, quick-grip, record, chesco and hanson.
Irwin has been in business since the 1800’s
Can’t wait for the Irwin and Lenox power tools!!!!!
Hahahahahaha, love to see the brand positioning there…..
I’ll be on the lookout at my local Wal-Mart. Right next to the Bostitch and FatMax power tools.
No idea what they are doing with brand position either. This seems like a market share move. Chances are now much better if someone is buying a hand tool it’s going to be made by Stanley Black & Decker.
I generally like Irwin tools, so I hope the quality doesn’t completely tank. Time will tell, Stanley Black & Decker does make a lot of really good stuff too.
I’ve only really used their clamps, and found them inferior to my Jorgensen and DeWalt (heavy duty quick-clamps).
I am honestly looking forward to a more merged design of the dewalt and irwin impact bits. and some of the tradeoffs for the lenox and dewalt blades.
I still wonder if perhaps lenox made the blades or some of them for dewalt.
I believe it’s said to be, starting a business is all about “location”. Location, location, location. – Donald Trump
I believe that the central issue is around customers that this merger will involve, in wallet number and geographically located around the globe
Nearly 2 billion, with a B. Wow.
Kinda of makes sense, but I worry about the overlap. There are already Stanley and Dewalt pliers. Wonder what’ll happen between the Dewalt and Lenox blades as well.
Still kinda hope Vise-Grip production goes upmarket and gets brought brack to Dewitt, even if it’s just a small part of the biz and they still produce and sell the China-made ones too.
Seen it before
DeWalt blades are made in China, they do not hold up. Lenox are made in Massachusetts. Where do you think the manufacturing will go? If I worked for Lenox ( American Saw at one time) I would look for a job. I believe Stanley had 6,000 manufacturing jobs in New Britain at one time. Now it is under 500. The writing is on the wall and it’s in Chinese.