Bloomberg News

Acco Brands to Merge With MeadWestvaco Office-Supply Unit

November 18, 2011

(Updates with analyst’s quote in fourth paragraph.)

Nov. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Acco Brands Corp., the maker of Swingline, Day-Timer and Kensington office supplies, agreed to merge with MeadWestvaco Corp.’s consumer-products business in a deal valued at about $860 million.

MeadWestvaco shareholders will own 50.5 percent of the combined company, which will be managed by Acco’s executives and board, Lincolnshire, Illinois-based Acco said in a statement today. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2012, the company said.

The merger will boost Acco’s annual revenue by about 50 percent and give it MeadWestvaco’s Mead, Five Star and Trapper Keeper school and office-supply brands. Richmond, Virginia-based MeadWestvaco sold its envelope business to Cenveo Inc. earlier this year.

“This transaction is transformative, as it will become a platform for them to become a larger entity,” Arnold Ursaner, an analyst with CJS Securities Inc. in White Plains, New York, said in an interview. The deal will improve Acco’s consumer business and increase its sales to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. by 300 percent, said Ursaner, who has a “market outperform” rating on Acco’s shares.

MeadWestvaco will first spin off the office supply business, which will then pay the parent company a $460 million dividend in a transaction known as a “Reverse Morris Trust,” the companies said. That business will then merge with Acco.

Acco rose 23 percent to $8.54 at 1:07 p.m. in New York for the largest intraday gain since July 27, 2009. MeadWestvaco advanced 3.7 percent to $28.89.

(Acco held a conference call on the deal at 9:30 a.m. New York time. To listen, visit ABD US <EQUITY> EVT <GO>.)

--Editors: Niamh Ring, John Lear

To contact the reporters on this story: Leslie Patton in Chicago at lpatton5@bloomberg.net; Matt Townsend in New York at mtownsend9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net


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