Westar Capital acquires Sterno

Westar Capital acquires Sterno

Blyth, Inc. has completed the sale of its Sterno business, a manufacturer and distributor of canned fuel and tabletop lighting products, to Candle Lamp Company, a portfolio company of Westar Capital.

Sterno is a branded manufacturer and distributor of canned fuel and tabletop lighting products and accessories for the foodservice and retail sectors under the Sterno, Handy Fuel, QuickFlame and Sterno Decorative Lighting Collection brands. The company’s product line includes gel and wick chafing (buffet) fuel, liquid and hard wax candles for tabletop lighting and food warming applications, lamps, butane cartridges, portable stoves, products for camping and disaster relief and other items for portable cooking and heating. Sterno is based in Des Plaines, IL (www.sterno.com).

“Sterno has been well known for more than 100 years as the industry standard for safe, reliable canned fuel. Since its acquisition by Blyth in 1997, Sterno has enjoyed brand recognition in the U.S. foodservice industry in excess of 90%. However, Blyth’s decision to focus on becoming a direct-to-consumer marketer rendered it a non-core asset,” said Blyth Chairman & CEO Robert Goergen. “The sale of Sterno to Candle Lamp provides a unique opportunity to leverage the brand and achieve growth through core products as well as new products and applications. We are pleased to have found a strategic fit for the Sterno business that offers its customers and employees the promise of a vibrant future.”

Candle Lamp provides tabletop light and chafing fuel products to the foodservice equipment industry. The company has provided the foodservice industry with premium-quality candle lamps, clear liquid wax and high performance chafing fuels for over a quarter of a century. The company is based in Riverside, CA (www.candlelamp.com).

Westar Capital invests from $5 million to $25 million in U.S.-based middle market companies with annual revenues of at least $25 million and operating income of at least $5 million. Sectors of interest include aerospace and defense; business services; consumer products; healthcare services; and value-added manufacturing. The firm was founded in 1987 and is based in Costa Mesa, CA (www.westarcapital.com).

Blyth (NYSE: BTH) is a direct-to-consumer business focused on both the direct selling and direct marketing channels. The company designs and markets home fragrance products and decorative accessories, as well as weight management products, nutritional supplements and energy drink mixes. These products are sold through direct selling under both the home party plan and network marketing methods. The company also designs and markets household convenience items and personalized gifts through the catalog/Internet channel. Blyth is headquartered in Greenwich, CT (www.blyth.com).

J.H. Chapman Group served as financial advisor to Blyth. J.H. Chapman Group is an investment banking firm offering a range of financial advisory services to the food industry in the United States and internationally. The firm’s clients range from Fortune 500 companies to privately-held, middle-market companies. J.H. Chapman Group has offices in Chicago and Paris (www.jhchapman.com).

© 2012 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 10-31-12

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