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Ansell sheds one business, adds another

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ISELIN, N.J.—Ansell Ltd. plans to sell the Marigold household glove and cleaning products portion of its Comasec portfolio to Freudenberg Home and Cleaning Solutions for about $14.5 million.

It also has closed on a deal to purchase glove manufacturer BarrierSafe Solutions International from a group led by Odyssey Investment Partners.

Under an agreement reached by Freudenberg and Ansell, Weinheim, Germany-based FHCS will acquire the global trademark rights for the Marigold brand along with Ansell's consumer household glove business in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Benelux, Hong Kong and Japan.

The deal is subject to the approval of antitrust authorities. It is expected to close in January.

Acquisition of the Marigold brand, which uses natural rubber and nitrile in many of its gloves, complements FHCS' already successful household glove business, according to Klaus-Peter Meier, CEO of FHCS, a business unit of the Freudenberg Group.

"Marigold is a market leader in the U.K. and Ireland, countries in which we are not yet represented in this category," he said.

Ansell's divestment of the household glove and cleaning products end of the Comasec business is consistent with the company's long-term strategy, said Magnus Nicolin, managing director and CEO of the glove maker, which has its U.S. headquarters in Iselin.

The firm's primary focus is providing "a broad range of hand protection solutions for the business-to-business market," and the Marigold consumer brand operation didn't fit into that sector, he said.

The agreement between the two companies includes a five-year extension of a partnership between FHCS and Ansell. The partnership in household gloves has been in place for more than 20 years, FHCS said, and includes combining Ansell's expertise in research and development and manufacturing with FHCS' strengths in consumer research, marketing and sales.

Ansell's plant in Keddah, Malaysia, also will supply goods in support of FHCS' existing and new cleaning product portfolio, a spokesman said.

The glove and condom maker purchased Comasec S.A.S. and its subsidiaries for about $125 million in October 2012 to expand its base in the personal protective equipment glove market.

While it prepared to divest the household glove and consumer product part of the Marigold operation, Ansell completed its $615 million transaction to buy BarrierSafe, based in the U.S.

Founded in 1987, BarrierSafe has annual sales in the range of about $290 million. It produces single-use gloves and protective footwear and employs approximately 250.