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Harper Brush Works sold to Cequent Consumer Products
Harper Brush Works has completed a going concern sale transaction with Cequent Consumer Products of Ohio, in the US.
Founded by Alphonso 'A.K.' Harper 112 years ago, Harper Brush Works has sold a variety of products for commercial industrial and home settings including brushes, push brooms, buckets/dust pans, automotive cleaning tools, long handled cleaning tools, mops, microfibre/dusting tools, food service products and housewares. Harper Brush Works is one of the few remaining broom and brush companies that continues to manufacture its own hardwood blocks for many of its core products in the US.
In mid-August 2012, Equity Partner CRB was retained in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Iowa as the exclusive broker for the company. Harper Brush Works had seen its revenues decline from over $50 million a year to under $7 million, and was losing more than $200,000 per month.
CRB's charge was to quickly find a buyer for the business before it was forced to shut down. It ran an exhaustive marketing process reaching out to thousands of prospective bidders. Six groups qualified to bid at what turned out to be a lively auction. Following more than 25 bids, Cequent Consumer Products was named the successful bidder at a price roughly doubling the initial publicly disclosed bid, known as the 'Stalking Horse' bid. Almost all of the 55 full time employees were retained, and the plant continues to operate today.
Fred Cross, Managing Director at Equity Partners CRB says: "This result is better than anyone expected. Harper Brush Works brings countless synergies to Cequent and the sale brought a far greater recovery to creditors than a liquidation would have. Keeping the jobs in Fairfield, Iowa and building on these synergies will make this acquisition a great success for Cequent, long into the future. All of us at Equity Partners CRB are happy to see an outcome like this and we look forward to another 112 years of American made Harper products."
13th December 2012