Board Takeover Fails at Newell Brands

HOBOKEN, N.J.— A founder of Jarden Corp. recently attempted to wrest control of the Newell Brands board. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Jarden co-founder Martin Franklin asked to increase the board’s influence over Newell operations after the company disclosed plans to cut multiple brands under its umbrella. Newell acquired Pure Fishing from Jarden in a $18.7 billion, 2015 merger.

The Journal reports that Franklin attempted to become the board’s chairman before resigning, along with two other members of the 12-team board—Ian Ashken, a former Jarden executive, and former Gucci CEO Domenico De Sole. All three board members were carry-overs from Jarden, Corp., which owned Pure Fishing from 2007-2015.

Consumer brands under the Newell portfolio include Sharpie, Elmer’s Glue, Rubbermaid, Mr. Coffee, Yankee Candle, Marmot, Coleman, Abu Garcia, Berkley, Pflueger, Spiderwire, PENN, Fenwick, Ugly Stik, and Stren. The company employs more than 53,000 workers, and plans to trim down to nine core businesses. Along with Rawlings, Rubbermaid and U.S. Playing Cards will hit the selling block. Presumably, this leaves Pure Fishing under the Newell Brands umbrella for the time being.

In 2016, Newell dismissed Pure Fishing’s then 30-member marketing staff; however, some of fishing’s largest brands have thus far avoided the selling block.

Shares of Newell brands fell 20-percent following a January, 25 disclosure of 2017 financial results. That report showed core sales rising 0.8-percent after a forecast of 1.5-2-percent. Read the full report from the Wall Street Journal here (paywall).