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Lifetime Brands gets takeover offer from Mill Road Capital

Lifetime Brands chairman and chief executive Jeffrey Siegel

Lifetime Brands chairman and chief executive Jeffrey Siegel in the company's Garden City showroom in December 2010. Credit: Danny Ghitis

Private investment firm Mill Road Capital Management LLC has offered to buy Garden City-based Lifetime Brands Inc. for $20 per share.

The Greenwich, Connecticut-based firm said Monday night it had sent a letter to the board of directors of Lifetime Brands that afternoon. The firm already holds more than 10 percent of Lifetime Brands’ shares. It first purchased shares in the company, which sells kitchenware, tableware and other products including Farberware and KitchenAid brands, in 2011.

“As one of the company’s largest stockholders, we have always been highly impressed with the company and its management team,” Scott Scharfman, management committee director at Mill Road Capital, wrote in the letter. “We think Jeff Siegel has done an outstanding job as CEO and leads a strong and deep bench of talented people.”

Lifetime Brands confirmed in a statement yesterday afternoon that it received an “unsolicited indication of interest.” The company added that its board of directors will evaluate and consider the offer.

Lifetime cautioned stockholders that “no decisions have been made by the board of directors” about the offer, and “There can be no assurance that any definitive offer will be made or accepted.”

In an interview yesterday, Scharfman declined to divulge whether Mill Road Capital would raise its bid since Lifetime Brands’ shares had surpassed its initial $20 offer. The stock closed yesterday at $20.10, up $1.20, or 6.4 percent.

Scharfman also declined to comment about the future of Lifetime Brands’ headquarters in Garden City or how employees could potentially be affected. He did add that he grew up on Long Island, in Great Neck.

Shares of Lifetime Brands hit a 52-week high of $21.20 earlier yesterday. The stock is up almost 57 percent in the past 12 months.

On Monday the company’s shares rose 30.80 percent to close at $18.90. The sharp increase came after the company reported a 4.1 percent increase in revenue and a 33.6 percent increase in net income for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

Lifetime Brands posted net sales of $193.5 million for the quarter, compared with $185.9 million during the same quarter in 2015.

The company’s net income for the quarter was $14.7 million, compared with $11 million during the year-earlier period.

Mill Road Capital, founded in 2004, describes itself as an investor and partner in publicly traded micro-cap companies, which are categorized as having market capitalization between $50 million and $300 million. Lifetime Brands’ stock market capitalization is roughly $378 million.

Mill Road Capital’s current portfolio consists of companies in various industries, including retail, manufacturing, business services and consumer products. One such company it invests in is Destination Maternity Corp., a designer and retailer of maternity apparel, which operates under the trade names Motherhood Maternity, A Pea in the Pod, and Destination Maternity.

J.P. Morgan Chase is serving as financial adviser to Lifetime Brands. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is the legal adviser.


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