“Breville is not for sale” – HWI MD, Joe Hersch

By James Wells

SYDNEY: Despite receiving interest from potential purchasers, Housewares International (HWI) managing director, Joe Hersch has confirmed that the Breville business is not for sale.

“Breville is not for sale,” Hersch told Current.com.au this morning in response to rumours that the electrical business may follow the sale of the Australian Homewares and Sabco cleaning business.

“However, due to the success of Breville in the international market, it has attracted attention and the board is obligated to act in the best interests of shareholders and therefore, it has to listen to what interested parties are saying," Hersch said.

“I can say categorically that the business is not on the market for sale. In fact, the board is very pleased with the way it is performing."

Yesterday, Housewares International told shareholders: "The Board will continue to keep shareholders advised of any developments, as appropriate, in relation to approaches that have been made by a number of parties indicating that they are interested in making an offer for the Company".

According to the company’s results for the six months to 31 December 2006, the HWI electrical business generated profit of $14.2 million following a strong international performance. Earnings from the international business were up 11.1 per cent to $88.8 million with the Breville brand alone growing 19 per cent in the North American market.

HWI yesterday announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary – Thebe International has entered into a formal sale agreement for the sale of the Sabco brushware and cleaning business to the ACS International Group through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Britex Carpetcare and Grandlodge.

"The net cash proceeds from this sale, together with the proceeds from the sale of the Australian Homewares business are, as announced to the ASX on 16 March 2007, anticipated to be approximately $24 million," the company said in its update to shareholders.

The sale of the Sabco brushware and cleaning business is due to complete on 30 March 2007 and will be effective as from completion. The sale of the Australian Housewares business is, as announced to the ASX on 16 March 2007, effective as from that date, subject to that sale being approved by the company’s shareholders. This shareholder’s meeting is currently expected to be held in early May 2007."

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