manufacturing

A.T. Cross to explore ‘strategic alternatives’ for accessory division

COURTESY A.T. CROSS
A.T. CROSS Co. plans to explore 'strategic alternatives' for its Cross Accessory Division, the division responsible for its signature pens.
Posted 2/4/13

LINCOLN – The A.T. Cross Co., a producer of high-end writing utensils and other personal accessories, announced in a press release late Monday that it is “exploring strategic alternatives” for its Cross Accessory Division.

The Accessory Division comprises the company’s signature pens, as well as other related products.

Kevin F. Mahoney, the company’s senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer, declined to comment further on the matter, but told Providence Business News that “given the circumstances,” he and company CEO David G. Whalen wanted to “limit to what is stated in the press release.”

In the release, Whalen said: “We constantly look for ways to build shareholder value. At this point in our history, we think it is important to fully understand the different ways that the Cross brand can help us achieve that goal.”

The company engaged C.W. Downer & Co. to assist in the evaluation, but said that it has “not made a decision to pursue any specific transaction or any other strategic alternative,” and added that there is no timetable set for the strategic review process.

In its preliminary fourth quarter and 2012 earnings statement, released on Jan. 16, the company stated that revenue for the Accessory Division declined 5 percent in 2012, primarily related to the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, where a weak economic environment caused sales to drop 19 percent.

Revenue in the Americans and Asia regions grew 3 percent during the year, according to the preliminary earnings report. In the release, Whalen stated that the company expected the Cross Accessory Division to “grow modestly in 2013.”

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