St. Louis-based Energizer Holdings Inc., which also owns the nation's No. 2 razor company, the Schick and Wilkinson Sword business, purchased American Safety for $301 million, completing the deal just before Thanksgiving Day.That's good news to local employees and offers hope that the company will be able to right itself after filing for bankruptcy:
American Safety Razor, founded in 1875 and based in Verona, sold about $330 million worth of razors and other products last year. It had a positive operating cash flow of about $76 million and was the third-biggest razor firm in the U.S. and in Europe.The bankruptcy came on the heels of the discovery that an employee had stolen $750,000 from the company. Energizer's purchase of ASR sounds like good news for the company and Augusta County.
But the loss of its biggest customer at the start of this year, which accounted for about 15 percent of its business, hit the heavily-indebted company hard, J. Andrew Bolt, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said in an affidavit this summer.
Efforts to work out easier terms with holders of more than $422 million of IOUs didn't work out, and the company filed for bankruptcy in July.