23594 Tue, 01/03/2012 - 7:13pm
Housewares and tabletop giant Lifetime Brands is in global brand-building mode.
Last month the company acquired a 40 percent equity interest in GS Internacional, a Brazilian maker of dinnerware, glassware, home decor, kitchenware and barware. The move continues Lifetime’s strategy of growth through acquisition and partnership through local management teams.
In October 2011 Lifetime acquired Creative Tops, a British tabletop company, and plans to use that partnership as a base for building a brand presence in Europe. GS, meanwhile, will serve as a platform for building the company’s business in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, Jeff Siegel, Lifetime’s chairman, president and CEO, told HFN. Siegel described GS as “a key player in the Brazil tabletop and kitchenware markets.”
“Our partnership with GSI will provide Lifetime with access to the rapidly growing Mercosul Area, allowing us to become a more effective global resource to our key retailer partners,” he said in a statement at the time of the acquisition. “We are impressed by GSI and the quality and commitment of its management team, led by Paulo Soares. We look forward to working with Paulo to build GSI into the preeminent housewares company in South America.”
Based on its success in Mexico and Canada, Lifetime intends to use its brands, product development, current 16,000 SKUs and its sourcing capabilities to build distribution around the world, Siegel told HFN, “but especially in markets with an emerging middle class.”
Paulo Sergio G. Soares, GSI’s founder and chief executive, said the partnership gives his company access to Lifetime’s many brands, product development and global sourcing capabilities and will reinforce GSI’s position as “a leading supplier of high quality, innovative housewares products to retailers in Brazil and other parts of South America.” – Allison Zisko