A.T. Cross Completes Sale of Accessory Division, Will Change Name and Business Focus
A.T. Cross, the Lincoln, Rhode Island-based supplier, has completed the sale of its Cross Accessory Division to private equity firm Clarion Capital Partners. The $60 million deal, announced last July, includes the company's iconic line of Cross pens and business accessories.
With the loss of its legacy products, A.T. Cross will narrow its focus to the company's line of premium sports sunglasses and personal accessories, which accounted for 46 percent of the company's 2012 revenue. The company began its shift to the personal accessory market in 2003, with the acquisition of Costa, followed by the 2008 purchase of Native Eyewear.
"With the completion of the sale of the Cross Accessory Division, we are very excited to enter our next phase as a growth company focused on the continued expansion of our premium sports sunglass business," said David G. Whalen, President and Chief Executive Officer of A.T. Cross. "Since our 2003 acquisition of Costa and subsequent purchase of Native Eyewear in 2008, revenue from our sunglass business has grown more than tenfold to nearly $100 million. In the coming years through our expertise and capital, we will bring Costa and Native to the many more consumers anxious to experience the authenticity and technology that Costa and Native deliver."
As part of the transition, A.T. Cross revealed that it will change its name to Costa Inc. A formal announcement of the new name, as well as a new logo and website, is expected later this month.
Clarion Capital Partners will acquire most of the Cross products currently sold into the promotional products industry. In addition to the famous pen and pencil line, Clarion Capital Partners will assume control of the Cross line of journals and padfolios, as well as the company's leather goods and recognition items.
"We are thankful to the employees of the Cross Accessory Division and the newly named Costa Inc. in working so diligently on this successful transition," commented Eric Kogan, a partner of Clarion Capital Partners. "We are now eager to turn our attention and resources to building the Division as an independent company, capitalizing on the many opportunities available to this exciting global brand."
The private equity firm has not disclosed whether it will continue to sell the Cross lines within the promotional product markets, or if it will focus exclusively on retail consumers.
Related story: A.T. Cross Sells Cross Accessories Division for $60 Million