MVP Group Acquires Midwest-CBK

Colonial Candle, one of the Midwest-CBK brands to be acquired by MVP Group International, introduced six trend-driven scents.

Colonial Candle, one of the Midwest-CBK brands to be acquired by MVP Group International, introduced six trend-driven scents.

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.

MVP Group Acquires Midwest-CBK

       

       

CHARLESTON, S.C.–Candle and home fragrance maker MVP Group International has agreed to acquire Midwest-CBK, a leading supplier of gifts, candles and home décor, from Blyth, Inc. for an undisclosed sum. The closing is expected before May 31, 2011.

The sale enables Greenwich, Conn.-based Blyth to focus on its direct-to-consumer channels with its brands, which include PartyLite, Two Sisters Gourmet, Sterno and Exposures, among others, the company said.

“As Blyth’s focus is on the direct-to-consumer channels, Midwest-CBK has become less of a strategic fit going forward,” said Robert B. Goergen, Blyth’s chairman of the board and CEO. “Thus, when conversations arose with a strong and growing company interested in increasing its premium channel presence and manufacturing capabilities, we were receptive to a dialog. Moreover, the divestiture of Midwest-CBK supports Blyth’s objective to continue to self-fund its seasonal working capital requirements.”

Goergen praised Midwest-CBK’s management team for the “exceptional job guiding the company through a difficult recession, reporting sales and profit growth for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2011.” Frederick Contino, president of the Midwest-CBK, will continue to lead Midwest-CBK, according to a company spokeswoman.

Mary Propes, MVP Group International CEO, said the two companies are an excellent strategic fit. “The strength of MVP’s core competency of global sourcing and its focused approach towards strategic marketing and branding initiatives will benefit our growth objectives, whereas the Midwest-CBK innovative design and development team and large, established customer base will further an overall growth strategy in the premium channel in branded candles, seasonal decorative accessories, decor and giftware,” she said in a statement.