By Allison Zisko
The planned acquisition of candle and gift company Midwest-CBK later this month promises good things for the company from a brand and marketing standpoint, according to the president of Midwest-CBK.
In April, candle and home fragrance maker MVP Group International agreed to acquire Midwest-CBK from Blyth Inc. for an undisclosed sum. The closing is expected before May 31, 2011. While the sale enables Greenwich, Conn.-based Blyth to focus on its direct-to-consumer channels with its remaining brands, such as PartyLite and Two Sisters Gourmet, it introduces MVP Group to the gift industry and adds strong brand names like Colonial Candle to its lineup.
MVP’s brands include the Harry & David and Paula Deen candle collections and Olde South Candle Company, among others. It sells to mass merchants. Midwest-CBK focuses on the premium end of the business. The two companies dovetail nicely, according to Rick Contino, president of Midwest-CBK. Midwest-CBK and MVP have worked together on OEM projects over the past several years, he added.
Mary Propes, MVP Group International CEO, said the two companies are an excellent strategic fit. MVP’s global sourcing capabilities and its branding and marketing initiatives will help the company grow, Propes said in a statement, while Midwest-CBK’s design and development capabilities and its large, established customer base will further MVP’s growth strategy.
“It gives us a new channel of distribution—the boutique store and gift stores—and expands production in the United States,” Troy Propes, president of MVP, told HFN. Midwest-CBK operates a candle factory in North Carolina.
MVP is focused on brands and innovation, and “any of that that rubs off on us is great,” Contino said. “The MVP organization is very brand-centric and impressed with the Colonial Candle and the Midwest-CBK brands,” he continued. “From a holding company standpoint they will do everything they can to support those brands. It will mean great things to come from a brand and marketing standpoint.”
Contino will continue to lead Midwest-CBK, and there will be no changes in offices, sales force or any other logistics, according to Contino. “It will be business as usual, all the way around,” he said.
“We’re very excited about this opportunity to work with such a seasoned staff that has worked with the industry for years,” Troy Propes said.