UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
|ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2023
|TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the transition period from __________ to ___________
|Commission File No.||Name of Registrant, State of Incorporation,|
Address of Principal Offices, and Telephone No.
|IRS Employer Identification No.|
|1-4219||Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.||74-1339132|
(a Delaware corporation)
3001 Deming Way, Middleton, WI 53562
|333-192634-03||SB/RH Holdings, LLC||27-2812840|
(a Delaware limited liability company)
3001 Deming Way, Middleton, WI 53562
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Registrant||Title of each class||Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.||Common Stock, Par Value $0.01||New York Stock Exchange|
|SB/RH Holdings, LLC||None||None|
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrants are well-known seasoned issuers, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
|Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.||Yes|
|SB/RH Holdings, LLC||Yes|
Indicate by check mark if the registrants are not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.
|Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.||Yes|
|SB/RH Holdings, LLC||Yes|
Indicate by check mark whether the registrants (1) have filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
|Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.||Yes|
|SB/RH Holdings, LLC||Yes|
Indicate by check mark whether the registrants have submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
|Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.||Yes|
|SB/RH Holdings, LLC||Yes|
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.
|Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.|
|SB/RH Holdings, LLC|
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.:
|Large Accelerated Filer||Accelerated Filer||Non-accelerated Filer||Smaller Reporting Company||Emerging Growth Company|
|Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.||X|
|SB/RH Holdings, LLC||X|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
|Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.|
|SB/RH Holdings, LLC|
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
|Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.||Yes|
|SB/RH Holdings, LLC||Yes|
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
|Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.||Yes|
|SB/RH Holdings, LLC||Yes|
The aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. was approximately $2,624 million based upon the closing price on the last business day of the registrant's most recently completed second fiscal quarter (April 2, 2023). For the sole purposes of making this calculation, term “non-affiliate” has been interpreted to exclude directors and executive officers and other affiliates of the registrant. Exclusion of shares held by any person should not be construed as a conclusion by the registrant, or an admission by any such person, or that such person is an “affiliate” of the Company, as defined by applicable securities law.
As of November 15, 2023, there were outstanding 35,308,011 shares of Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.’s Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share.
SB/RH Holdings, LLC meets the conditions set forth in General Instruction I(1)(a) and (b) of Form 10-K and has therefore omitted the information otherwise called for by Items 10 to 13 of Form 10-K as allowed under General Instruction I(2)(c).
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.’s subsequent amendment to the Form 10-K to be filed within 120 days of September 30, 2023 are incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K in response to Part III, Items 10, 11, 12 and 13.
SPECTRUM BRANDS HOLDINGS, INC.
SB/RH HOLDINGS, LLC
TABLE OF CONTENTS
We have made or implied certain forward-looking statements in this document. All statements, other than statements of historical facts included or incorporated by reference in this document, including the statements under Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, without limitation, statements or expectations regarding our business strategy, future operations, financial condition, estimated revenues, projected costs, inventory management, earnings power, projected synergies, prospects, plans and objectives of management, outcome of any litigation and information concerning expected actions of third parties are forward-looking statements. When used in this report, the words future, anticipate, pro forma, seek, intend, plan, envision, estimate, believe, belief, expect, project, forecast, outlook, earnings framework, goal, target, could, would, will, can, should, may and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain such identifying words.
Since these forward-looking statements are based upon our current expectations of future events and projections and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control and some of which may change rapidly, actual results or outcomes may differ materially from those expressed or implied herein, and you should not place undue reliance on these statements. Important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied herein include, without limitation:
•the economic, social and political conditions or civil unrest, terrorist attacks, acts of war, natural disasters, other public health concerns or unrest in the United States ("U.S.") or the international markets impacting our business, customers, employees (including our ability to retain and attract key personnel), manufacturing facilities, suppliers, capital markets, financial condition and results of operations, all of which tend to aggravate the other risks and uncertainties we face;
•the impact of a number of local, regional and global uncertainties could negatively impact our business;
•the negative effect of the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas war and their impact on those regions and surrounding regions, including on our operations and on those of our customers, suppliers and other stakeholders;
•our increased reliance on third-party partners, suppliers and distributors to achieve our business objectives;
•the impact of expenses resulting from the implementation of new business strategies, divestitures or current and proposed restructuring and optimization activities, including changes in inventory and distribution center changes which are complicated and involve coordination among a number of stakeholders, including our suppliers and transportation and logistics handlers;
•the impact of our indebtedness and financial leverage position on our business, financial condition and results of operations;
•the impact of restrictions in our debt instruments on our ability to operate our business, finance our capital needs or pursue or expand business strategies;
•any failure to comply with financial covenants and other provisions and restrictions of our debt instruments;
•the effects of general economic conditions, including the impact of, and changes to tariffs and trade policies, inflation, recession or fears of a recession, depression or fears of a depression, labor costs and stock market volatility or monetary or fiscal policies in the countries where we do business;
•the impact of fluctuations in transportation and shipment costs, fuel costs, commodity prices, costs or availability of raw materials or terms and conditions available from suppliers, including suppliers’ willingness to advance credit;
•interest rate fluctuations;
•changes in foreign currency exchange rates that may impact our purchasing power, pricing and margin realization within international jurisdictions;
•the loss of, significant reduction in or dependence upon, sales to any significant retail customer(s), including their changes in retail inventory levels and management thereof;
•competitive promotional activity or spending by competitors, or price reductions by competitors;
•the introduction of new product features or technological developments by competitors and/or the development of new competitors or competitive brands;
•changes in consumer spending preferences and demand for our products, particularly in light of economic stress and the COVID-19 pandemic;
•our ability to develop and successfully introduce new products, protect intellectual property and avoid infringing the intellectual property of third parties;
•our ability to successfully identify, implement, achieve and sustain productivity improvements, cost efficiencies (including at our manufacturing and distribution operations) and cost savings;
•the seasonal nature of sales of certain of our products;
•the impact weather conditions may have on the sales of certain of our products;
•the effects of climate change and unusual weather activity as well as our ability to respond to future natural disasters and pandemics and to meet our environmental, social and governance goals;
•the cost and effect of unanticipated legal, tax or regulatory proceedings or new laws or regulations (including environmental, public health and consumer protection regulations);
•public perception regarding the safety of products that we manufacture and sell, including the potential for environmental liabilities, product liability claims, litigation and other claims related to products manufactured by us and third parties;
•the impact of existing, pending or threatened litigation, government regulation or other requirements or operating standards applicable to our business;
•the impact of cybersecurity breaches or our actual or perceived failure to protect company and personal data, including our failure to comply with new and increasingly complex global data privacy regulations;
•changes in accounting policies applicable to our business;
•our discretion to adopt, conduct, suspend or discontinue any share repurchase program or conduct any debt repayments, redemptions, repurchases or refinancing transactions (including our discretion to conduct purchases or repurchases, if any, in a variety of manners including open-market purchases, privately negotiated transactions, tender offers, redemptions, or otherwise);
•our ability to utilize net operating loss carry-forwards to offset tax liabilities;
•our ability to successfully integrate the February 18, 2022, acquisition of the home appliances and cookware products business from Tristar Products, Inc. (the "Tristar Business") into the Company's Home and Personal Care ("HPC") business and realize the benefits of this acquisition;
•our ability to successfully integrate the May 28, 2021 acquisition of the Rejuvenate business and tradename from For Life Products, LLC into the Company's Home & Garden ("H&G") business and realize the benefits of this acquisition;
•our ability to separate the Company's HPC business and create an independent Global Appliances business on expected terms, and within the anticipated time period, or at all, and to realize the potential benefits of such business;
•our ability to create a pure play consumer products company composed of our Global Pet Care ("GPC") and H&G business and to realize the expected benefits of such creation, and within the anticipated time period, or at all;
•our ability to successfully implement further acquisitions or dispositions and the impact of any such transactions on our financial performance;
•the impact of actions taken by significant shareholders; and
•the unanticipated loss of key members of senior management and the transition of new members of our management teams to their new roles.
Some of the above-mentioned factors are described in further detail in the sections entitled Risk Factors in our annual and quarterly reports (including this report), as applicable. You should assume the information appearing in this report is accurate only as of the end of the period covered by this report, or as otherwise specified, as our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since that date. Except as required by applicable law, including the securities laws of the U.S. and the rules and regulations of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, to reflect actual results or changes in factors or assumptions affecting such forward-looking statements.
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
This combined Form 10-K is being filed by Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. (“SBH”) and SB/RH Holdings, LLC (“SB/RH”) (collectively, the “Company”). SB/RH is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBH and represents substantially all of its assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses and operations. SB/RH is the parent guarantor for certain debt of Spectrum Brands, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of SB/RH ("SBI"), and represents all of SBI assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses, and operations. Thus, all information contained in this report relates to, and is filed by, SBH. Information that is specifically identified in this report as relating solely to SBH, such as its financial statements and its common stock, does not relate to and is not filed by SB/RH. SB/RH makes no representation as to that information. The terms “the Company,” “we,” and “our” as used in this report, refer to both SBH and its consolidated subsidiaries and SB/RH and its consolidated subsidiaries, unless otherwise indicated.
Our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to reports filed pursuant to Sections 13(a) and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), are available free of charge through our website at www.spectrumbrands.com as soon as reasonably practicable after such reports are filed with, or furnished to the SEC. The SEC also maintains a website that contains our reports, proxy statements and other information at www.sec.gov. In addition, copies of our (i) Corporate Governance Guidelines, (ii) charters for the Audit Committee, Compensation Committee, and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, (iii) Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and (iv) Code of Ethics for the Principal Executive Officer and Senior Financial Officers are available on our website at www.spectrumbrands.com under “Investor Relations.” Copies will also be provided to any stockholder upon written request to Spectrum Brands, Inc. at 3001 Deming Way, Middleton, Wisconsin 53562 or via electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at (608) 278-6207.
We are a diversified global branded consumer products and home essentials company. We manage the business in three vertically integrated, product focused segments: (i) Global Pet Care (“GPC”), (ii) Home and Garden (“H&G”) and (iii) Home and Personal Care (“HPC”). The Company manufactures, markets and distributes its products globally in the North America (“NA”), Europe, Middle East & Africa (“EMEA”), Latin America (“LATAM”) and Asia-Pacific (“APAC”) regions through a variety of trade channels, including retailers, wholesalers and distributors. We enjoy strong name recognition under our various brands and patented technologies across multiple product categories. Global and geographic strategic initiatives and financial objectives are determined at the corporate level. Each segment is responsible for implementing defined strategic initiatives and achieving certain financial objectives and has a president responsible for sales and marketing initiatives and the financial results for all product lines within that segment. The segments are supported through center-led shared service enabling functions consisting of finance and accounting, information technology, legal and human resources, supply chain and commercial operations. The following is an overview of the consolidated business showing net sales by segment and geographic region sold (based upon destination) as a percentage of consolidated net sales for the year ended September 30, 2023.
Our operating performance is influenced by a number of factors including: general economic conditions; foreign exchange fluctuations; trends in consumer markets; consumer confidence and preferences; our overall product line mix, including pricing and gross margin, which vary by product line and geographic market; pricing of certain raw materials and commodities; energy and fuel prices; and our general competitive position, especially as impacted by our competitors’ advertising and promotional activities and pricing strategies. See Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, included in Item 7 to this Annual Report, for further discussion of the consolidated operating results and segment operating results.
Global Pet Care (GPC)
The following is an overview of GPC net sales by product category and geographic region sold by destination for the year ended September 30, 2023.
Dog and cat chews, treats, wet and dry foods; Dog and cat clean-up, behavioral training aides, health and grooming products; Indoor bird and other small animal food and care products.
Good'n'Fun®, DreamBone®, GOOD BOY®, SmartBones®, IAMS® (Europe only), EUKANUBA® (Europe only), Nature's Miracle®, FURminator®, Dingo®, 8IN1® (8-in-1), Meowee!®, and Wild Harvest™.
Consumer and commercial aquarium kits, stand-alone tanks; aquatics equipment such as filtration systems, heaters and pumps; and aquatics consumables such as fish food, water management and care
Tetra®, Marineland®, Instant Ocean®, GloFish®, and OmegaSea®.
We sell primarily to large retailers, pet superstores, online retailers, food and drug chains, warehouse clubs and other specialty retail outlets. International distribution varies by region and is often executed on a country-by-country basis. Our sales generally are made through the use of individual purchase orders. In addition to product sales within the United States, we also perform installation and maintenance services on commercial aquariums. Live fish under our GloFish® brand are produced, marketed, and sold by an independent third-party breeder through a supply and licensing agreement with the Company. A significant percentage of our sales are attributable to a limited group of retailer customers, including Walmart and Amazon, which represented approximately 33.4% of segment sales for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2023.
Primary competitors are Mars Corporation, Nestle Purina, and the Central Garden & Pet Company all of which sell a comprehensive line of pet products that compete across our product categories. The pet supplies (non-food) product category is highly fragmented with no competitor holding a substantial market share and consists of small companies with limited product lines, including private label products and suppliers.
Sales remain mostly consistent throughout the year with slight variations during holiday periods. Our sales by quarter as a percentage of annual net sales during the year ended September 30, 2023 are as follows:
Chews products are produced at third-party suppliers in the APAC region and Mexico. Certain other aquatics equipment and companion animal hard goods are also produced at third-party suppliers in the APAC region. We maintain ownership of most of the tooling and molds used by third-party suppliers. Product purchased from third-party suppliers are susceptible to fluctuations in transportation costs, government regulations and tariffs, and foreign currency exchange rates. We continuously monitor and evaluate our supplier network for quality, cost, and manufacturing capacity.
Aquatics and certain other companion animal products are produced in various manufacturing plants located in the U.S. and Germany, including the production of glass aquariums in in our Noblesville, Indiana facility, shampoos and aquarium salt in our Blacksburg, Virginia facility, OmegaSea® fish food with bird and other small animal products manufactured in our Bridgeton, Missouri facility, and aquatics nutrition and care products manufactured in Melle, Germany. We continually evaluate capacity at our manufacturing facilities and related utilization. In general, we believe our existing facilities are adequate for our present and foreseeable future operating needs.
Our research and development strategy is focused on new product development and performance enhancements of our existing products. We plan to continue to use our brand names, customer relationships and research and development efforts to introduce innovative products that offer enhanced value to consumers through new designs and improved functionality.
Home and Garden (H&G)
The following is an overview of H&G net sales by product category and geographic region sold by destination for the year ended September 30, 2023.
Household pest control solutions such as spider and scorpion killers; ant and roach killers; flying insect killers; insect foggers; wasp and hornet killers; and bedbug, flea and tick control products
Hot Shot®, Black Flag®, Real-Kill®, Ultra Kill®, The Ant Trap® (TAT), and Rid-A-Bug®.
Outdoor insect and weed control solutions, and animal repellents such as aerosols, granules, and ready-to-use sprays or hose-end ready-to-sprays
Spectracide®, Garden Safe®, Liquid Fence®, and EcoLogic®.
Personal use pesticides and insect repellent products, including aerosols, lotions, pump sprays and wipes, yard sprays and citronella candles
Cutter® and Repel®.
|Cleaning||Household surface cleaning, maintenance, and restoration products, including bottled liquids, mops, wipes, and markers.||Rejuvenate® |
We sell primarily to large retailers, home improvement centers, mass merchants, dollar stores, hardware stores, lawn and garden distributors, food and drug retailers, and e-commerce. We sell primarily in the U.S. with some distribution in LATAM.Our sales generally are made through the use of individual purchase orders. A significant percentage of our sales are attributable to a limited group of retailer customers, including Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Walmart, which represent approximately 63.1% segment sales for the year ended September 30, 2023.
Primary competitors include The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (Ortho, Roundup, Tomcat), S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. (Raid, OFF!), Central Garden & Pet (AMDRO, Sevin), SBM Company (BioAdvanced), Henkel AG & Co. KgaA (Combat), Bona AB (Bona), and Procter & Gamble (Swiffer, Zevo).
Sales typically peak during the first six months of the calendar year (the Company’s second and third fiscal quarters) and are lowest in the last three months of the calendar year (the Company's first quarter) due to customer purchasing patterns, and timing of promotional activities. Seasonal sales may also be impacted by changes in weather conditions during the peak season. Our sales by quarter as a percentage of annual net sales during the year ended September 30, 2023 are as follows:
H&G produces the majority of its products in one facility in St. Louis, Missouri, with production primarily consisting of liquids and aerosols, and the remaining portion of products being produced by various third-party manufacturers, consisting of granulates, candles, baits & traps, wipes and Rejuvenate® cleaning products. The main raw materials purchased are plastic bottles, steel aerosol cans, corrugate, active ingredients, and bulk chemicals. The prices of these raw materials are susceptible to fluctuations due to supply and demand trends, energy costs, transportation costs, inflation, government regulations, and tariffs. We continuously monitor and evaluate our supplier network for quality, cost, and manufacturing capacity.
Our research and development strategy is focused on new product development and performance enhancements of our existing products. We plan to continue to use our brand names, customer relationships, and research and development efforts to introduce innovative products that offer enhanced value to consumers through new designs and improved functionality.
Home and Personal Care (HPC)
The following is an overview of net sales by product category and geographic region sold by destination for the year ended September 30, 2023.
Small kitchen appliances including toaster ovens, coffeemakers, slow cookers, air fryers, blenders, hand mixers, grills, food processors, juicers, toasters, irons, kettles, and bread makers, cookware, and cookbooks.
Black+Decker®, Russell Hobbs®, George Foreman®, PowerXL®, Emeril Legasse®, Copper Chef ®, Toastmaster®, Juiceman®, Farberware®, and Breadman®
|Hair dryers, flat irons and straighteners, rotary and foil electric shavers, personal groomers, mustache and beard trimmers, body groomers, nose and ear trimmers, women's shavers, and haircut kits.||Remington®|
We have a trademark license agreement (the "License Agreement") with Stanley Black+Decker ("SBD") pursuant to which we license the Black + Decker® brand ("B&D") in North America, Latin America (excluding Brazil) and the Caribbean for four core categories of household appliances: beverage products, food preparation products, garment care products and cooking products. The License Agreement has a term ending June 30, 2025, including a sell-off period from April 1, 2025 to June 30, 2025 whereby the Company can continue to sell and distribute but no longer produce products subject to the License Agreement. Under the terms of the License Agreement, we agree to pay SBD royalties based on a percentage of sales, with minimum annual royalty payments of $15.0 million, with the exception that the minimum annual royalty will no longer be applied effective January 1, 2024 through the expiration of the License Agreement. The License Agreement also requires us to comply with maximum annual return rates for products. Subsequent to the completion of the License Agreement, there are no continuing obligations or restrictions on the business activities of either party. See Note 6 – Revenue Recognition included in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report for further detail on revenue concentration from B&D branded products.
The Emeril License is set to expire effective December 31, 2023, with options of up to two additional one-year renewal periods following the initial expiration. Under the terms of the agreement, we are obligated to pay the license holder a percentage of sales, with minimum annual royalty payments of $1.6 million, increasing to $1.8 million in subsequent renewal periods.
We own the right to use the Remington® trademark for electric shavers, shaver accessories, grooming products and personal care products; and Remington Arms Company, Inc. (“Remington Arms”) owns the rights to use the trademark for firearms, sporting goods and products for industrial use, including industrial hand tools. The terms of a 1986 agreement between Remington Products, LLC and Remington Arms provides for the shared rights to use the trademark on products which are not considered “principal products of interest” for either company. We retain the trademark for nearly all products which we believe can benefit from the use of the brand name in our distribution channels.
HPC products are sold primarily to large retailers, online retailers, wholesalers, distributors, warehouse clubs, food and drug chains and specialty trade or retail outlets such as consumer electronics stores, department stores, discounters and other specialty stores. HPC products are also sold direct-to-consumer through direct response television, brand websites, and other online marketplaces. International distribution varies by region and is often executed on a country-by-country basis. Our sales generally are made through the use of individual purchase orders. A significant percentage of our sales are attributable to a limited group of retailer customers, including Walmart and Amazon, which represent approximately 37.1% of segment sales for the year ended September 30, 2023.
Primary competitors for home appliances include Newell Brands (Sunbeam, Mr. Coffee, Crockpot, Oster), De’Longhi America (DeLonghi, Kenwood, Braun), SharkNinja (Shark, Ninja), Hamilton Beach Holding Co. (Hamilton Beach, Proctor Silex), Sensio, Inc. (Bella); SEB S.A.(T-fal, Krups, Rowenta), Whirlpool Corporation (Kitchen Aid), Conair Corporation (Cuisinart, Waring), Versuni (Philips), Donlim (Morphy Richards), Gourmia, and private label brands for major retailers. Primary competitors in personal care include Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. (Norelco), The Procter & Gamble Company (Braun), Conair Corporation, Wahl Clipper Corporation, Helen of Troy Limited, SharkNinja (Shark), and Dyson Limited (Dyson).
Sales from electric personal care product categories tend to increase during the December holiday season (the Company's fiscal first quarter), while small appliances sales typically increase from July through December primarily due to the increased demand by customers in the late summer for “back-to-school” sales (the Company's fiscal fourth quarter) and in December for the holiday season.
Our sales by quarter as a percentage of annual net sales during the year ended September 30, 2023 are as follows:
Substantially all of our home appliances and personal care products are manufactured by third-party suppliers that are primarily located in the APAC region, the prices of which may be susceptible to changes in transportation costs, government regulations and tariffs, and changes in currency exchange rates. We maintain ownership of most of the tooling and molds used by our suppliers.
We continuously monitor and evaluate our supplier network for quality, cost, and manufacturing capacity. Our research and development strategy is focused on new product development and performance enhancements of our existing products. We plan to continue to use our brand names, customer relationships and research and development efforts to introduce innovative products that offer enhanced value to consumers through new designs and improved functionality.
Hardware and Home Improvement ("HHI")
On September 8, 2021, the Company entered into a definitive Asset and Stock Purchase Agreement (the "Purchase Agreement") with ASSA ABLOY AB ("ASSA") to sell its HHI segment for cash proceeds of $4.3 billion, subject to customary purchase price adjustments. HHI consists of residential locksets and door hardware, including knobs, levers, deadbolts, handle sets, and electronic and connected locks under the Kwikset®, Weiser®, Baldwin®, Tell Manufacturing®, and EZSET® brands; kitchen and bath faucets and accessories under the Pfister® brand; and builders' hardware consisting of hinges, metal shapes, security hardware, rack and sliding door hardware, and gate hardware under the National Hardware® and FANAL® brands. On June 20, 2023, the Company completed its divestiture of its HHI segment resulting in the recognition of a gain on sale of $2.8 billion included as a component of Income From Discontinued Operations, Net of Tax. Refer to Note 3 - Divestitures to the Consolidated Financial Statements, included elsewhere in this Annual Report, for further discussion pertaining the HHI divestiture.
At Spectrum Brands, we are led by our values of trust, accountability, and collaboration to serve others through this common mission: We Make Living Better at Home. We strive to live our core values of trust, accountability and collaboration every day by serving our customers, consumers, and communities. Our workplace culture is centered around practices that support our communities and promote sustainable practices and a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce.
As of September 30, 2023, we have approximately 3,100 full-time employees worldwide. Approximately 25% of our total labor force is covered by collective bargaining agreements, of which approximately 25% is subject to arrangements under negotiations or expiring within 12 months. We believe that our overall relationship with our employees is good.
We encourage our employees to “Speak Up,” “Be Accountable,” “Take Action,” and “Grow Talent,” promote innovation, trust, accountability and collaboration. The result is a work environment that encourages the well being of our employees wholistically - mind and body.
Employee Health and Safety
We are committed to the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) safety of our employees. We continuously strive to maintain our strong safety performance as we continue to grow our business around the globe. The keys to our EHS success are a workforce that is engaged, a management team who supports and invests in employee safety, and the leadership of our skilled EHS team. In the last several years, the team has added dedicated EHS professionals to individual sites to train employees and ensure compliance with applicable safety standards and regulations. The team hosts regular meetings to share information and discuss best practices across plants.
Environmental, Social and Governance
Spectrum Brands is committed to further enhancing our environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) efforts and recognizes the impact our business has on our communities and the world. We believe in making a positive difference in the communities in which we live and work and strive to discharge our corporate social responsibilities from a global perspective and throughout every aspect of our operations, consistent with our focus on creating value for all of our stakeholders over the long term. Our decisions regarding business strategy, operations and resource allocation are guided by this purpose and are rooted in our core values. Our Board recognizes the negative effect that poor environmental practices and human capital management may have on us and our returns. Accordingly, our Board considers and balances the impact on the environment, people and the communities of which we are a part in deciding how to operate our business. Our Board receives periodic reports regarding our risk exposure and risk mitigation efforts in these areas.
We are committed to operating our business with all stakeholders in mind and with a view toward long-term sustainability and value creation, even as our business and society face a variety of existing and emerging challenges. We leverage our expertise, along with external partners, to help address these challenges. While our corporate social responsibility commitments address many areas, we focus on five key priorities: product and content safety, environmental sustainability, human rights and ethical sourcing, employee safety and well-being and diversity and inclusion.
Spectrum Brands is committed to developing our future leaders at every level. Our talent processes start with understanding what current and future talent is needed to deliver business goals, followed by a talent review process to assist managers with evaluating talent.
Learning and development is a critical part of creating Spectrum Brands’ culture of high performance, innovation, and inclusion. We believe on-the-job experience is an outstanding way to learn, and performance and development plans ensure that managers and employees have conversations about career aspirations, mobility, developmental goals and interests.
Employee Communication and Feedback
In an ongoing effort to understand our employees needs, and deliver on our values of trust, accountability and collaboration, we listen. We regularly host company-wide and business unit town halls to offer employees an opportunity to ask questions about Company activities and policies that impact them. We solicit and receive questions and feedback from our employees through this process.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Spectrum Brands is committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace for employees of every race, color, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental ability and background. At Spectrum Brands, we strive to make our employees feel valued and respected and given the opportunity to thrive as their authentic selves. To further that objective we have:
•Engaged the services of a third-party consultant with expertise in diversity, equity and inclusion (“DEI”) to help us create long-lasting change;
•Implemented a DEI program;
•Created a U.S. DEI Advisory Counsel made up of our employees of diverse backgrounds to help design and develop DEI-related priorities and goals, advise on ways to advance the DEI dialogue and drive meaningful cultural change at the Company;
•Created affinity groups for our diverse employees and developing trainings, communications and programs to further facilitate and encourage open and transparent DEI discussions among our employee populations; and
•Developed educational content and trainings to help leaders foster a more inclusive environment.
In response to COVID-19, our Company took swift and effective action to protect the health and safety of our global employees. The Company implemented a number of robust COVID-19 safety practices, including, by way of example:
•Temperature screenings and masks were required at all sites prior to admittance;
•Weekly audits using a list of safety requirements, including social distancing, personal protective equipment, sanitation, hygiene education, etc.;
•Guidelines and procedures for the deep cleaning of HVAC systems to prevent the spread of germs;
•Contact tracing practices with mandatory quarantine for individuals with confirmed close contact cases;
•Requirement that all non-essential employees to work from home; and
•Suspension of travel restrictions for all unnecessary travel.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
Any of the following factors could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. The risks described below are not the only risks that we may face. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently view as immaterial may also materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.
We are subject to a variety of risks, including those described below. In particular, these risks include, but are not limited to:
•Risks related to our business operations: We participate in very competitive markets and we may not be able to compete successfully, causing us to lose market share and sales.
•Risks related to our indebtedness and financing abilities: Our indebtedness may limit our financial and operating flexibility, and we may incur additional debt, which could increase the risks associated with our substantial indebtedness.
•Risks related to our international operations: We are subject to significant international business risks that could hurt our business and cause our results of operations to fluctuate.
•Risks related to data privacy and intellectual property: We may not be able to adequately establish and protect our intellectual property rights, and the infringement or loss of our intellectual property rights could harm our business.
•Risks related to litigation and regulatory compliance: We are subject to a number of claims and litigation and may be subject to future claims and litigation, any of which may adversely affect our business.
•Risks related to investment in our common stock: The market price of the Company’s common stock is likely to be highly volatile and could fluctuate widely in price in response to various factors, many of which are beyond our control.
Risks Related to our Business Operations
Reliance on third-party relationships and outsourcing arrangements could adversely affect our business.
We rely on third parties, including suppliers, distributors, alliances with other companies, and third-party service providers, for selected aspects of product development, manufacture, commercialization, support for information technology systems, product distribution, and certain financial transactional processes. Additionally, we have outsourced certain functions to third-party service providers to leverage leading specialized capabilities and achieve cost efficiencies. Outsourcing these functions involves the risk that third-party service providers may not perform to our standards or legal requirements, may not produce reliable results, may not perform in a timely manner, may not maintain the confidentiality of our proprietary information, or may fail to perform at all. Additionally, any disruption, such as a government shutdown, war, natural disaster or global pandemic, could affect the ability of our third-party service providers to meet their contractual obligations to us. Failure of these third parties to meet their contractual, regulatory, confidentiality or other obligations to us could result in material financial loss, higher costs, regulatory actions, and reputational harm.
Uncertain global economic conditions may adversely impact demand for our products or cause our customers and other business partners to suffer financial hardship, which could adversely impact our business.
Our business could be negatively impacted by reduced demand for our products related to one or more significant local, regional or global economic disruptions, the risk of which are aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as: a slow-down in the general economy; reduced market growth rates; increased inflation rates; tighter credit markets for our suppliers, vendors or customers; a significant shift in government policies; the deterioration of economic relations between countries or regions, including potential negative consumer sentiment toward non-local products or sources; or the inability to conduct day-to-day transactions through our financial intermediaries to pay funds to, or collect funds from, our customers, vendors and suppliers. Additionally, economic conditions may cause our suppliers, distributors, contractors or other third-party partners to suffer financial difficulties that they cannot overcome, resulting in their inability to provide us with the materials and services we need, in which case our business and results of operations could be adversely affected. Customers may also suffer financial hardships due to economic conditions such that their accounts become uncollectible or are subject to longer collection cycles. In addition, if we are unable to generate sufficient income and cash flow, it could affect the Company’s ability to achieve expected share repurchase and dividend payments.
Disruption in our global supply chain may negatively impact our business results.
Our ability to meet our customers’ needs and achieve cost targets depends on our ability to maintain key manufacturing and supply arrangements, including execution of supply chain optimizations and certain sole supplier or sole manufacturing plant arrangements. The loss or disruption of such manufacturing and supply arrangements, including for issues such as labor disputes, labor shortages, loss or impairment of key manufacturing sites, discontinuity in our internal information and data systems, inability to procure sufficient raw or input materials, significant changes in trade policy, natural disasters, increasing severity or frequency of extreme weather events due to climate change or otherwise, acts of war or terrorism, or disease outbreaks or other external factors over which we have no control, including inflation, have interrupted product supply and, if not effectively managed and remedied, could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
We participate in very competitive markets and we may not be able to compete successfully, causing us to lose market share and sales.
We compete for consumer acceptance and limited shelf space based upon brand name recognition, perceived product quality, price, performance, product features and enhancements, product packaging and design innovation, as well as creative marketing, promotion and distribution strategies, and new product introductions. Additional discussion over the segments, product categories, and markets in which we compete are included under Item 1 above. Our ability to compete in these consumer product markets may be adversely affected by a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the following:
•We compete against many well-established companies that may have substantially greater financial and other resources, including personnel and research and development, and greater overall market share than us.
•In some key product lines, our competitors may have lower production costs and higher profit margins than us, which may enable them to compete more aggressively in offering retail discounts, rebates and other promotional incentives.
•Technological advancements, product improvements or effective advertising campaigns by competitors may weaken consumer demand for our products.
•Consumer purchasing behavior may shift to distribution channels, including to online retailers, where we and our customers do not have a strong presence.
•Consumer preferences may change to lower margin products or products other than those we market.
•We may not be successful in the introduction, marketing and manufacture of any new products or product innovations or be able to develop and introduce, in a timely manner, innovations to our existing products that satisfy customer needs or achieve market acceptance.
In addition, in a number of our product lines, we compete with our retail customers, who use their own private label brands, and with distributors and foreign manufacturers of unbranded products. Significant new competitors or increased competition from existing competitors, including specifically private label brands, may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of our operations.
Some competitors may be willing to reduce prices and accept lower profit margins to compete with us. As a result of this competition, we could lose market share and sales, or be forced to reduce our prices to meet competition. If our product offerings are unable to compete successfully, our sales, results of operations and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected. In addition, we may be unable to implement changes to our products or otherwise adapt to changing consumer trends. If we are unable to respond to changing consumer trends, our operating results and financial condition could be adversely affected.
Changes in consumer shopping trends and changes in distribution channels could significantly harm our business
We sell our products through a variety of trade channels with a significant portion dependent upon retail partnerships, through both traditional brick-and-mortar retail channels and e-commerce channels. We are seeing the emergence of strong e-commerce channels generating more online competition and declining in-store traffic in brick-and-mortar retailers. Consumer shopping preferences have shifted and may continue to shift in the future to distribution channels other than traditional retail that may have more limited experience, presence and developed, such as e-commerce channels. If we are not successful in developing and utilizing e-commerce channels that future consumers may prefer, we may experience lower than expected revenues.
We are also seeing more traditional brick-and-mortar retailers closing physical stores, and filing for bankruptcy, which could negatively impact our distribution strategies and/or sales if such retailers decide to significantly reduce their inventory levels for our products or to designate more floor space to our competitors. Further consolidation, store closures and bankruptcies could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, as well as the trading price of our securities.
Consolidation of retailers and our dependence on a small number of key customers for a significant percentage of our sales may negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
As a result of consolidation of retailers that has occurred during the past several years, particularly in the United States and the European Union ("EU"), and consumer trends toward national mass merchandisers, a significant percentage of our sales are attributable to a limited group of customers. As these mass merchandisers and retailers grow larger and become more sophisticated, they may demand lower pricing, special packaging or impose other requirements on product suppliers. These business demands may relate to inventory practices, logistics or other aspects of the customer-supplier relationship. Because of the importance of these key customers, demands for price reductions or promotions, retail inventory levels and requirements influencing their purchasing, consumer shopping behavior and patterns, and changes in their financial condition or loss of their accounts could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Our success is dependent on our ability to manage our retailer relationships, including offering mutually acceptable trade terms. Concentration of sales are further discussed in Item 1 - Business above and Note 6 - Revenue Recognition in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report.
Although we have long-established relationships with many of our retail customers, we generally do not have long-term agreements with them and purchases are normally made through the use of individual purchase orders. Any significant reduction in purchases, failure to obtain anticipated orders or delays or cancellations of orders by any of these major retail customers, changes to retail inventory management strategies and initiatives, or significant pressure to reduce prices and support promotions and discounts from any of these major retail customers, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Additionally, any decline in retail consumer spending, a significant deterioration in the financial condition of the retail industry in general, the bankruptcy of any of our customers or any of our customers ceasing operations could have a material adverse effect on our sales and profitability.
As a result of retailers maintaining tighter inventory control, we face risks related to meeting demand and storing inventory.
As a result of the desire of retailers to more closely manage inventory levels, there is a growing trend among them to purchase products on a “just-in-time” basis. Due to a number of factors, including (i) manufacturing lead-times, (ii) seasonal purchasing patterns, and (iii) the potential for material price increases, we may be required to shorten our lead-time for production and more closely anticipate shifts in our retailers’ demands and consumer spending habits, which could in the future, require us to carry additional inventories and increase our working capital and related financing requirements. This may increase the cost of warehousing inventory or result in excess inventory becoming difficult to manage, unusable or obsolete and impact our ability to realize the anticipated returns from product sales. In addition, if our retailers significantly change their inventory management strategies, we may encounter difficulties in filling customer orders or in liquidating excess inventories or may find that customers are cancelling orders or returning products, which may have a material adverse effect on our business.
Furthermore, we primarily sell branded products and a move by one or more of our large customers to sell significant quantities of private label products, which we do not produce on their behalf and which directly compete with our products, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Sales of certain of our products are seasonal and may cause our operating results and working capital requirements to fluctuate.
On a consolidated basis, our financial results are approximately equally weighted across our quarters, however, sales of certain product categories tend to be seasonal. Further discussion over the seasonality of our sales is included under Item 1 - Business above. As a result of this seasonality, our inventory and working capital needs fluctuate significantly throughout the year. In addition, orders from retailers are often made late in the period preceding the applicable peak season, making forecasting of production schedules and inventory purchases difficult. If we are unable to accurately forecast and prepare for customer orders or our working capital needs, or there is a general downturn in business or economic conditions during these periods, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.
Adverse weather conditions during our peak selling seasons for our home and garden products could have a material adverse effect on our home and garden business.
Weather conditions have a significant impact on the timing and volume of sales of certain of our lawn and garden and household insecticide and repellent products. For example, periods of dry, hot weather can decrease insecticide sales, while periods of cold and wet weather can slow sales of herbicides. Adverse weather conditions during the first six months of the calendar year (the Company’s second and third fiscal quarters), when demand for home and garden control products typically peaks, could have a material adverse effect on our home and garden business and our financial results during such period.
Our products utilize certain key raw materials; any significant increase in the price of, or change in supply and demand for, these raw materials could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition and profits.
The principal raw materials used to produce our products, including petroleum-based plastic materials and corrugated materials (for packaging), are sourced either on a global or regional basis by us or our suppliers, and the prices of those raw materials are susceptible to price fluctuations due to supply and demand trends, energy costs, transportation costs, government regulations, duties and tariffs, changes in currency exchange rates, price controls, general economic conditions, inflation, and other unforeseen circumstances. Although we may seek to increase the prices of certain of our goods to our customers, we may not be able to pass all of these cost increases on to our customers. As a result, our margins may be adversely impacted by such cost increases. We cannot provide any assurance that our sources of supply will not be interrupted due to changes in worldwide supply of or demand for raw materials or other events that interrupt material flow, which may have an adverse effect on our profitability and results of operations.
If we are not effective in managing our exposure to above average costs for an extended period of time, and we are unable to pass our raw materials costs on to our customers, our future profitability may be materially and adversely affected. Furthermore, with respect to transportation costs, certain modes of delivery are subject to fuel surcharges which are determined based upon the current cost of diesel fuel in relation to pre-established agreed upon costs. We may be unable to pass these fuel surcharges on to our customers, which may have an adverse effect on our profitability and results of operations.
In addition, we have exclusivity arrangements and minimum purchase requirements with certain of our suppliers for the home and garden business, which increase our dependence upon and exposure to those suppliers. Some of those agreements include caps on the price we pay for our supplies and in certain instances these caps have allowed us to purchase materials at below market prices. When we attempt to renew those contracts, the other parties to the contracts may not be willing to include or may limit the effect of those caps and could even attempt to impose above market prices in an effort to make up for any below market prices paid by us prior to the renewal of the agreement. Any failure to timely obtain suitable supplies at competitive prices could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our dependence on a few suppliers for certain of our products makes us vulnerable to a disruption in the supply of our products.
Although we have long-standing relationships with many of our suppliers, we generally do not have long-term contracts with them. An adverse change in any of the following could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations:
•our ability to identify and develop relationships with qualified suppliers;
•the terms and conditions upon which we purchase products from our suppliers, including applicable exchange rates, transport and other costs, our suppliers’ willingness to extend credit to us to finance our inventory purchases and other factors beyond our control;
•the financial condition of our suppliers;
•political and economic instability in the countries in which our suppliers are located, as a result of war, terrorist attacks, pandemics, natural disasters or otherwise;
•our ability to import outsourced products;
•our suppliers’ noncompliance with applicable laws, trade restrictions and tariffs; or
•our suppliers’ ability to manufacture and deliver outsourced products according to our standards of quality on a timely and efficient basis.
If our relationship with one of our key suppliers is adversely affected, we may not be able to quickly or effectively replace such supplier and may not be able to retrieve tooling, molds or other specialized production equipment or processes used by such supplier in the manufacture of our products. The loss of one or more of our suppliers, a material reduction in their supply of products or provision of services to us or extended disruptions or interruptions in their operations could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our home and garden products are mainly manufactured from our St. Louis, MO, facility and our aquatics products and certain companion animal products are manufactured in Blacksburg, VA, Bridgeton, MO, Noblesville IN and Melle, Germany. We are dependent upon the continued safe operation of these facilities.
Our facilities are subject to various hazards associated with the manufacturing, handling, storage, and transportation of chemical materials and products, including human error, leaks and ruptures, explosions, floods, fires, inclement weather and natural disasters, power loss or other infrastructure failures, mechanical failure, unscheduled downtime, regulatory requirements, the loss of certifications, technical difficulties, labor disputes, inability to obtain material, equipment or transportation, environmental hazards such as remediation, chemical spills, discharges or releases of toxic or hazardous substances or gases, and other risks. Many of these hazards could cause personal injury and loss of life, severe damage to, or destruction of, property and equipment and environmental contamination. In addition, the occurrence of material operation problems at our facilities due to any of these hazards could cause a disruption in the production of products. We may also encounter difficulties or interruption as a result of the application of enhanced manufacturing technologies or changes to production lines to improve throughput or to upgrade or repair its production lines. The Company’s insurance policies have coverage in case of significant damage to its manufacturing facilities but may not fully compensate for the cost of replacement for any such damage and any loss from business interruption. As a result, we may not be adequately insured to cover losses resulting from significant damage to our manufacturing facility. Any damage to this facility or interruption in manufacturing could result in production delays and delays in meeting contractual obligations which could have a material adverse effect on relationships with customers and on its results of operations, financial condition or cash flows in any given period.
We face risks related to our sales of products obtained from third-party suppliers.
We sell a significant number of products that are manufactured by third-party suppliers over which we have no direct control. While we have implemented processes and procedures to try to ensure that the suppliers we use are complying with all applicable regulations, there can be no assurances that such suppliers in all instances will comply with such processes and procedures or otherwise with applicable regulations. Noncompliance could result in our marketing and distribution of contaminated, defective or dangerous products which could subject us to liabilities and could result in the imposition by governmental authorities of procedures or penalties that could restrict or eliminate our ability to purchase products. Any or all of these effects could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Additionally, the impact of economic conditions of our suppliers cannot be predicted and our suppliers may be unable to access financing or become insolvent and thus become unable to supply us with products. Development in tax policy, such as the imposition of tariffs on imported goods, could further have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and liquidity.
In addition, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act includes provisions regarding certain minerals and metals, known as conflict minerals, mined from the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries. These provisions require companies to undertake due diligence procedures and report on the use of conflict minerals in its products, including products manufactured by third parties. Compliance with these provisions causes us to incur costs to certify that our supply chain is conflict free and we may face difficulties if our suppliers are unwilling or unable to verify the source of their materials. Our ability to source these minerals and metals may also be adversely impacted. In addition, our customers may require that we provide them with a certification and our inability to do so may disqualify us as a supplier.
We face a number of local, regional, and global uncertainties and potential disruptions which could adversely impact our businesses.
We face a number of local, regional, and global uncertainties and potential disruptions which could adversely impact our businesses, our financial performance or liquidity, and our ability to carry out our go-forward plans and strategies. These economic uncertainties and potential disruptions include a slow-down in the general economy; reduced market growth rates; increased inflation rates and cost of goods; increased fuel and employee costs; higher interest rates; tighter credit markets; changes in government policies, including the imposition of tariffs or import costs; the deterioration of economic relations between countries or regions; actions taken by governmental authorities to contain the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate its public health effects; and the escalation or continuation of armed conflict, hostilities or economic sanctions between countries or regions, all of which can negatively impact our ability to manufacture, supply or sell our products and otherwise conduct our day-to-day operations. For instance, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has led us to terminate, reduce or significantly change our business activities in these regions and certain surrounding regions. We have initiated the closure of our HPC operations within Russia and in the future, we may have to further reduce or cease doing business within the certain surrounding regions, which could have a negative impact on our ability to collect outstanding accounts receivables, or impose additional costs, further negatively impacting our business performance. In addition, the economic sanctions and hostilities in Russia and Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas war may negatively impact our and our customers’ financial viability, which may negatively impact us or the demands or economic viability of our customers in other parts of the world.
Additionally, global economic conditions or restrictions from armed conflicts or the COVID-19 pandemic may cause our suppliers, distributors, contractors, or other third-party partners to suffer financial or operating difficulties that they cannot overcome, resulting in their inability to provide us with the materials and services we need, in which case our business and results of operations could be adversely affected. For instance, our suppliers in Asia and other parts of the world have, and may continue to experience, shutdown or limitations in their operations as result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which may contain or limit our ability to supply or distribute our products to our customers and negatively impact our business. Moreover, we have experienced, and may continue to experience, delays in the receipt of certain goods from international and domestic shipping origins as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and more general global supply chain constraints in both fiscal 2021 and fiscal 2022. While we have taken certain remediating actions in response to the ongoing global supply chain challenges, these measures may not be sufficient and other supply chain challenges may continue to arise that are beyond our control and could negatively affect our business and financial performance.
Moreover, we have transitioned our third-party logistics service provider at our existing Edwardsville, IL distribution center. These efforts require incorporating a new service provider into our distribution capabilities and are complicated and require coordination among a number of our stakeholders, including our suppliers and transportation and logistics handlers. These changes and updates are inherently difficult and may be exacerbated by the other uncertainties and potential disruptions our business faces. We do not control the operations of these third parties and are dependent on them to execute our orders and deliver our products in a timely and efficient way. The failure of these third parties to fulfill all of their obligations to us could result in lost sales, penalties and other adverse effects on our business. While we believe that optimizing our distribution centers and other aspects of our supply chain and customer delivery network will allow us to manage our inventory more efficiently and more effectively respond to customer demands, there can be no assurance that we will realize such benefits. We have experienced, and may continue to experience, delays in executing these efforts. Our inability to execute, or timely execute these efforts, has resulted in us being unable to supply, or timely supply, our products to our customers or incurring higher costs and reductions in revenues, incurring penalties imposed by our customers, or may disrupt our business operations.
Furthermore, our raw materials are sourced from industries characterized by a limited supply base, and their cost can fluctuate substantially. Under many of our supply arrangements, the price we pay for raw materials fluctuates along with certain changes in underlying commodities costs. Price increases for our raw materials have placed pressure on our costs and could continue to do so, and we may not be able to effectively hedge or pass along any such increases to our customers or consumers. Furthermore, any price increases passed along to our customers or consumers could significantly reduce demand for our products and could negatively affect our business and financial performance.
If we are unable to negotiate satisfactory terms to continue existing or enter into additional collective bargaining agreements, we may experience an increased risk of labor disruptions and our results of operations and financial condition may suffer.
While we currently expect to negotiate continuations to the terms of these agreements, there can be no assurances that we will be able to obtain terms that are satisfactory to us or otherwise to reach agreement at all with the applicable parties. In addition, in the course of our business, we may also become subject to additional collective bargaining agreements. These agreements may be on terms that are less favorable than those under our current collective bargaining agreements. Increased exposure to collective bargaining agreements, whether on terms more or less favorable than our existing collective bargaining agreements, could adversely affect the operation of our business, including through increased labor expenses. While we intend to comply with all collective bargaining agreements to which we are subject, there can be no assurances that we will be able to do so and any noncompliance could subject us to disruptions in our operations and materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. For additional information see the discussion over the Company’s labor force subject to collective bargaining agreements under the caption Employees in Item 1 - Business above.
Significant changes in actual investment return on pension assets, discount rates, and other factors could affect our results of operations, equity and pension contributions in future periods.
Our results of operations may be positively or negatively affected by the amount of income or expense we record for our defined benefit pension plans. Accounting Principles Generally Accepted in the United States (“GAAP”) requires that we calculate income or expense for the plans using actuarial valuations. These valuations reflect assumptions about financial markets and other economic conditions, which may change based on changes in key economic indicators. The most significant assumptions we use to estimate pension income or expense are the discount rate and the expected long-term rate of return on plan assets. In addition, we are required to make an annual measurement of plan assets and liabilities, which may result in a significant change to equity. Although pension expense and pension funding contributions are not directly related, key economic factors that affect pension expense would also likely affect the amount of cash we would contribute to pension plans as required under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended. Refer to Note - 15 Employee Benefit Plans in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information and disclosure over defined benefit plans.
Our business may be materially affected by changes to fiscal and tax policies that could adversely affect our results of operations and cash flows.
We operate globally and changes in tax laws could adversely affect our results. On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Reform Act”) was signed into law. The legislation, which became effective on January 1, 2018, significantly changed U.S. tax law by, among other things, lowering corporate income tax rates, implementing a dividends received deduction for dividends from foreign subsidiaries, imposing a repatriation tax on deemed repatriated earnings of foreign subsidiaries, a minimum tax on foreign earnings, limitations on deduction of business interest expense and limits on deducting compensation to certain executive officers. Additional tax regulations and interpretations of the Tax Reform Act have been, and continue to be, issued, some with retroactive application dates and some which materially impacted the Company. The Company understands that other U.S. taxpayers have or plan to challenge the constitutionality of a set of regulations that had a material impact on the Company. If the regulations were ruled unconstitutional, the Company could be favorably impacted. New or revised interpretations of the Tax Reform Act and state conformity with its provisions could have a material impact on the valuation allowance recorded on U.S. state net operating losses. Certain of these changes could have a negative or adverse impact on the operating results and cash flows of the Company. See Note 16 – Income Taxes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report for further discussion on the impact from the Tax Reform Act.
We may not be able to fully utilize our U.S. tax attributes.
The Company has accumulated a substantial amount of U.S. federal and state net operating loss (“NOLs”) carryforwards, and federal and state tax credits that will expire if unused. We have concluded that it is more likely than not that the majority of the federal and state deferred tax assets related to loss and credit carryforwards will not create tax benefits in the future. As a consequence of earlier business combinations and issuances of common stock, the Company and its subsidiaries have had various changes of ownership that continue to subject a significant amount of the Company’s U.S. NOLs and other tax attributes to certain limitations; and therefore a valuation allowance is still recognized on certain federal and state tax asset carryforwards that are expected to expire due to the ownership change limitations or because we do not believe we will earn enough taxable income to utilize. Changes to state conformity to the provisions of the Tax Reform Act could have a material impact on the valuation allowance recorded on U.S. state net operating losses. For further discussion on the Company’s federal and state NOLs, credits, and applicable valuation allowance as of September 30, 2023, see Note 16 – Income Taxes in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report.
Our strategic initiatives including acquisitions and divestitures may not be successful and may divert our management’s attention away from operations and could create general customer uncertainty.
Our growth strategy is based in part on growth through strategic initiatives including both acquisitions and divestitures, which poses a number of risks. We may not be successful in identifying appropriate acquisition candidates, achieving targeted values as part of a disposition, consummating an acquisition or divestiture on satisfactory terms, integrating any newly acquired or expanded business with our current operations, or separating a divested business or commingled operation effectively. We may issue additional equity, incur long-term or short-term indebtedness, spend cash or use a combination of these for all or part of the consideration paid in future acquisitions or expansion of our operations. In addition, subject to any requirements in the agreements governing our outstanding indebtedness, we may have significant discretion in how we employ the consideration received in a divestiture and our management may not apply such consideration in a way that is ultimately accretive to our business.
The execution of our strategic initiatives could entail repositioning or similar actions that in turn require us to record impairments, restructuring and other charges. Any such charges would reduce our earnings. We cannot guarantee that any future business acquisitions or divestitures will be pursued or that any acquisitions or divestitures that are pursued will be consummated.
Additionally, successful integration and separation of operations, products and personnel may place a significant burden on our management and other internal resources. The diversion of management’s attention, and any difficulties encountered in the transition process, could harm our business, financial condition, and operating results. Moreover, our customers may, in response to the announcement or consummation of a transaction, delay or defer purchasing decisions. If our customers delay or defer purchasing decisions, our revenues could materially decline or any anticipated increases in revenue could be lower than expected.
The integration of the Tristar Business into our HPC segment may be more difficult, time-consuming, or costly than expected. Synergies and other anticipated benefits may not be realized within the expected time frames, or at all.
On February 18, 2022 we completed the acquisition of the Tristar Business. Our ability to realize the anticipated benefits of the acquisition of the Tristar Business is dependent, to a large extent, on our ability to integrate the acquired business into our current HPC segment in a manner that facilitates growth opportunities and achieves projected growth trends without adversely affecting revenue and investments in future growth. The failure to meet the challenges involved in combining the Tristar Business with our current HPC segment and to realize the anticipated benefits from such combination, including expected synergies, could adversely affect our results of operations.
As of September 30, 2023, the Company and its HPC segment have been detrimentally impacted by aspects of the integration of the Tristar Business’ operations and products, which have negatively impacted subsequent operating performance and partner relationships of the Tristar Business’ brands and the HPC segment. Since the acquisition, the Tristar Business realized, among other things, significant distribution challenges, increased levels of retail inventory, reduced sales, increased promotional spending and deductions, higher level of returns, and overall increased amount of costs. Additionally, the segment has subsequently realized unusual losses attributable to the recognition of product recalls for products associated with the brands, increased risks over the realizability of receivables and inventory, and recognized an impairment on assets including the acquired goodwill and tradename intangible assets. Most recently, the Company disposed of certain inventory and products associated with the Tristar Business’ brand after assessing, among other things, performance and quality standards.
The overall combination of our businesses has, and may continue to, result in material unanticipated problems, expenses, liabilities, competitive responses, and loss of customer and other business relationships. The difficulties of combining the operations of the companies include, among others: diversion of management’s attention to integration matters; difficulties in integrating operations and systems; challenges in conforming standards, controls, procedures and accounting and other policies, business cultures and compensation structures between the two companies; difficulties in integrating employees and attracting and retaining key personnel, challenges in retaining existing, and obtaining new customers, suppliers, employees and others; difficulties in achieving anticipated cost savings, synergies, business opportunities, financing plans and growth prospects from the combination; difficulties in managing the expanded operations of a larger HPC segment; challenges in continuing to develop valuable and widely accepted products; contingent liabilities that are larger than expected; and potential unknown liabilities, adverse consequences and unforeseen increased expenses associated with the acquisition of the Tristar Business.
Additionally, the full benefits of the acquisition of the Tristar Business, including anticipated synergies, cost savings or sales or growth opportunities, may not be realized, and these benefits may not be achieved within our anticipated time frame or at all. Further, additional unanticipated costs may be incurred in the continued integration of our businesses. Many of these factors are outside of our control, and any one of them could result in lower revenues, higher costs and diversion of management time and energy, which could materially impact our business, financial condition, and results of operations. As of September 30, 2023, the Company believes it has assessed appropriate risks and recognized applicable losses and reserves reflecting the net assets of the Company, however there may be additional risks posed to the Company from the acquisition of the Tristar Business and its integration with the Company and the HPC segment. The Company is pursuing avenues to remediate and recover such damages and losses realized since the acquisition, but it is not guaranteed that the Company will be able to remediate or recover such damages and losses in whole or in part. See “Management’s Discussion & Analysis –Business Overview—Tristar Business Acquisition.”
Significant costs have been incurred and are expected to be incurred in connection with the consummation of recent and future strategic initiatives including the integration or separation of acquired or divested businesses within the Company.
We expect to incur one-time costs in connection with integrating our operations, products and personnel and those of the businesses we acquire or divest, including our purchase of the Tristar Business, in addition to costs related directly to completing such transactions. We would expect similar costs to be incurred with any future acquisition or divestiture. These costs may include expenditures for:
•employee redeployment, relocation or severance;
•integration or separation of operations and information systems;
•combination or segregation of research and development teams and processes; and
•reorganization or closures of facilities.
In addition, we expect to incur a number of non-recurring costs associated our operations with those strategic transactions. Additional unanticipated costs may yet be incurred as we integrate or separate our businesses. Although we expect that the elimination of duplicative costs, as well as the realization of other efficiencies may offset incremental transaction and transaction-related costs over time, this net benefit may not be achieved in the near term. Additionally, while we expect to benefit from leveraging distribution channels and brand names among the combined Company, we cannot assure you that we will achieve such benefits.
We may not realize the anticipated benefits of, and synergies from, our business acquisitions and may become responsible for certain liabilities and integration costs as a result.
Business acquisitions involve the integration of new businesses that have previously operated independently from us. The integration of our operations with those of acquired businesses is frequently expected to result in financial and operational benefits, including increased top line growth, margins, revenues and cost savings and be accretive to earnings per share, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and free cash flow before synergies. There can be no assurance, however, regarding when or the extent to which we will be able to realize increased top line growth, margins, revenues, cost savings or accretions to earnings per share, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization or free cash flow or other benefits. Integration may also be difficult, unpredictable, and subject to delay because of possible company culture conflicts and different opinions on technical decisions and product roadmaps. We will often be required to integrate or, in some cases, replace, numerous systems, including those involving management information, purchasing, accounting and finance, sales, billing, employee benefits, payroll and regulatory compliance, many of which may be dissimilar. In some instances, we and certain acquired businesses have served the same customers, and some customers may decide that it is desirable to have additional or different suppliers. Difficulties associated with the integration of acquired businesses could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We may also acquire partial or full ownership in businesses or may acquire rights to market and distribute particular products or lines of products. The acquisition of a business or the rights to market specific products or use specific product names may involve a financial commitment by us, either in the form of cash or equity consideration. In the case of a new license, such commitments are usually in the form of prepaid royalties and future minimum royalty payments. There is no guarantee that we will acquire businesses or product distribution rights that will contribute positively to our earnings. Anticipated synergies may not materialize, cost savings may be less than expected, sales of products may not meet expectations and acquired businesses may carry unexpected liabilities.
In addition, in connection with business acquisitions, we have assumed, and may assume in connection with future acquisitions, certain potential liabilities. To the extent such liabilities are not identified by us or to the extent the indemnifications obtained from third parties are insufficient to cover such liabilities, these liabilities could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We may not be able to retain key personnel or recruit additional qualified personnel, which could materially affect our business and require us to incur substantial additional costs to recruit replacement personnel.
We are highly dependent on the continuing efforts of our senior management team and other key personnel. Our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected if we lose any of these persons and are unable to attract and retain qualified replacements. Additionally, the agreements that we sign as a result of business acquisitions could affect our current and prospective employees due to uncertainty about their future roles. This uncertainty may adversely affect our ability to attract and retain key management, sales, marketing and technical personnel. Any failure to attract and retain key personnel could have a material adverse effect on our business. If any of our key personnel or those of our acquired businesses were to join a competitor or form a competing company, existing and potential customers or suppliers could choose to form business relationships with that competitor instead of us. There can be no assurance that confidentiality, non-solicitation, non-competition or similar agreements signed by former directors, officers, employees or stockholders of us, our acquired businesses or our transactional counterparties will be effective in preventing a loss of business. In addition, we currently do not maintain “key person” insurance covering any member of our management team.
Increased focus by governmental and non-governmental organizations, customers, consumers and investors on sustainability issues, including those related to climate change, may have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and damage our reputation.
As climate change, land use, water use, deforestation, plastic waste, recyclability or recoverability of packaging, including single-use and other plastic packaging, and other sustainability concerns become more prevalent, governmental and non-governmental organizations, customers, consumers and investors are increasingly focusing on these issues. In particular, changing consumer preferences may result in increased customer and consumer concerns and demands regarding plastics and packaging materials, including single-use and non-recyclable plastic packaging, and their environmental impact on sustainability, a growing demand for natural or organic products and ingredients, or increased consumer concerns or perceptions (whether accurate or inaccurate) regarding the effects of ingredients or substances present in certain consumer products. This increased focus on environmental issues and sustainability may result in new or increased regulations and customer, consumer and investor demands that could cause us to incur additional costs or to make changes to our operations to comply with any such regulations and address demands. If we are unable to respond, or are perceived to be inadequately responding to sustainability concerns, customers and consumers may choose to purchase products from a competitor. Concern over climate change may result in new or increased legal and regulatory requirements to reduce or mitigate the effects of climate change on the environment. Increased costs of energy or compliance with emissions standards due to increased legal or regulatory requirements may cause disruptions in or increased costs associated with manufacturing our products. Any failure to achieve our goals with respect to reducing our impact on the environment or a perception (whether or not valid) of our failure to act responsibly with respect to the environment or to effectively respond to new, or changes in, legal or regulatory requirements concerning climate change or other sustainability concerns could adversely affect our business and reputation.
Our business could be negatively impacted by corporate citizenship and sustainability matters and/or our reporting of such matters.
There is an increasing focus from certain investors, customers, consumers, employees, and other stakeholders concerning corporate citizenship and sustainability matters. From time to time, we communicate certain initiatives, including goals, regarding environmental matters, responsible sourcing and social investments. We could fail, or be perceived to fail, in our achievement of such initiatives or goals, or we could fail in fully and accurately reporting our progress on such initiatives and goals. In addition, we could be criticized for the scope of such initiatives or goals or perceived as not acting responsibly in connection with these matters. Our business could be negatively impacted by such matters. Any such matters, or related corporate citizenship and sustainability matters, could have a material adverse effect on our business.
The COVID-19 and future pandemics are a serious threat to the health and economic well-being affecting our customers, employees, sources of supply and our financial condition and results of operations.
In March 2020, the World Health Organization announced that COVID-19 had become a pandemic and a National Emergency relating to COVID-19 was announced in the U.S. With the possibility of continued widespread infection in the U.S. and abroad, there exists the potential for substantial commercial impact. National, state, and local authorities recommended social distancing and imposed, or considered imposing quarantine and isolation measures, on large portions of the population, including mandatory business closures. These measures had serious adverse impacts on domestic and foreign economies of uncertain severity and duration, and the uncertainty remains due to the potential for these measures to be re-implemented in the event of increased COVID-19 cases.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have experienced varying degrees of business disruptions and periods of closure of our distribution centers, and corporate facilities, as have our wholesale customers, licensing partners, suppliers and vendors, and despite our efforts to manage and remedy the impact of COVID-19 on our financial condition and results of operations, the ultimate impact also depends on factors beyond our knowledge or control, including the duration and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, potential future waves of COVID-19 cases in the locations where we operate, and actions taken by governmental authorities to contain its spread and mitigate its public health effects. Any of the foregoing factors, or other cascading effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, or future pandemics, that are not currently foreseeable, could materially increase our costs, negatively impact our sales and damage our results of operations and liquidity position. The duration of any such impacts cannot be predicted.
Risks Related to our Indebtedness and Financing Activities
Our substantial indebtedness may limit our financial and operating flexibility, and we may incur additional debt, which could increase the risks associated with our indebtedness.
We have, and we expect to continue to have, substantial indebtedness. See Note 12 - Debt in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report for additional detail. Our indebtedness has had, and could continue to have, adverse consequences for our business, and may:
•require us to dedicate a large portion of our cash flow to pay principal and interest on our indebtedness, which will reduce the availability of our cash flow to fund working capital, capital expenditures, research and development expenditures and other business activities;
•increase our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions;
•limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the industry in which we operate;
•restrict our ability to make strategic acquisitions, dispositions or to exploit business opportunities;
•place us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors that have less debt; and
•limit our ability to borrow additional funds (even when necessary to maintain adequate liquidity) or dispose of assets.
Under our senior credit agreement governing our secured facilities and the indentures governing our senior notes (together, our “debt agreements”), we may incur additional indebtedness. If new debt is added to our existing debt levels, the related risks that we now face would increase.
Furthermore, our credit agreement and borrowings under the Revolver Facility are subject to variable interest rates. Increases in market interest rates may raise the interest rate on our variable rate debt and create higher debt service requirements, which would adversely affect our cash flow and could adversely impact our results of operations. While we may enter into agreements limiting our exposure to higher debt service requirements, any such agreements may not offer complete protection from this risk. Moreover, upon completion of a divestiture, we may be required to pay down debt using proceeds from the sale pursuant to the terms of the Company's outstanding indebtedness.
Restrictive covenants in our debt agreements may restrict our ability to pursue our business strategies.
Our debt agreements each restrict, among other things, asset dispositions, mergers and acquisitions, dividends, stock repurchases and redemptions, other restricted payments, indebtedness and preferred stock, loans and investments, liens and affiliate transactions. Our debt agreements also contain customary events of default and covenants imposing operating and financial restrictions on our business. These covenants could, among other things, restrict our ability to incur additional indebtedness, liens or engage in sale and leaseback transactions, pay dividends or make distribution in respect of capital stock, make certain restricted payments, sell assets, engage in transactions with affiliates, except on an arms-length basis, or consolidate or merge with or sell substantially all of our assets. Further, these covenants could, among other things, limit our ability to fund future working capital and capital expenditures, engage in future acquisitions or development activities, or otherwise realize the value of our assets and opportunities fully. In addition, our debt agreements may require us to dedicate a portion of cash flow from operations to payments on debt and also contain borrowing restrictions based on, among other things, our fixed charge coverage ratio. Furthermore, the credit agreement governing our senior secured facilities contains a financial covenant relating to maximum net leverage. Such requirements and covenants could limit the flexibility of our restricted entities in planning for, or reacting to, changes in the industries in which they operate. Our ability to comply with these covenants is subject to certain events outside our control. If we are unable to comply with these covenants, the lenders under our senior secured facilities could terminate their commitments and the lenders under our senior secured facilities or the holders of our senior notes could accelerate repayment of our outstanding borrowings and, in either case, we may be unable to obtain adequate refinancing of outstanding borrowings on favorable terms or at all. If we are unable to repay outstanding borrowings when due, the lenders under the senior secured facilities will also have the right to proceed against the collateral granted to them to secure the indebtedness owed to them. If our obligations under the senior secured facilities are accelerated, we cannot assure you that our assets would be sufficient to repay in full such indebtedness.
Future financing activities may adversely affect our leverage and financial condition.
Subject to the limitations set forth in our debt agreements, we may incur additional indebtedness and issue dividend-bearing redeemable equity interests. We may incur substantial additional financial obligations to enable us to execute our business objectives. These obligations could result in:
•default and foreclosure on our assets if our operating revenues after an investment or acquisition are insufficient to repay our financial obligations;
•acceleration of our obligations to repay the financial obligations even if we make all required payments when due if we breach certain covenants that require the maintenance of certain financial ratios or reserves without a waiver or renegotiation of that covenant;
•our immediate payments of all amounts owed, if any, if such financial obligations are payable on demand;
•our inability to obtain additional financing if such financial obligations contain covenants restricting our ability to obtain such financing while the financial obligations remain outstanding;
•our inability to pay dividends on our capital stock;
•using a substantial portion of our cash flow to pay principal and interest or dividends on our financial obligations, which will reduce the funds available for dividends on our Common Stock if declared, expenses, capital expenditures, acquisitions and other general corporate purposes;
•limitations on our flexibility in planning for and reacting to changes in our business and in the industries in which we operate;
•an event of default that triggers a cross default with respect to other financial obligations, including our indebtedness;
•increased vulnerability to adverse changes in general economic, industry, financial, competitive, legislative, regulatory and other conditions and adverse changes in government regulation; and
•limitations on our ability to borrow additional amounts for expenses, capital expenditures, acquisitions, debt service requirements, execution of our strategy and other purposes and other disadvantages compared to our competitors.
Risks Related to our International Operations
We are subject to significant international business risks that could hurt our business and cause our results of operations to fluctuate.
A significant portion of our net sales are to customers outside of the U.S. See Note 6 - Revenue Recognition and Note 21 – Segment Information in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in the Annual Report, for sales by geographic region. Our pursuit of international growth opportunities may require significant investments for an extended period before returns on these investments, if any, are realized. Our international operations are subject to risks including, among others:
•currency fluctuations, including, without limitation, fluctuations in the foreign exchange rate of the Euro, British Pound, Canadian Dollar, Australian Dollar, Japanese Yen, Chinese Renminbi, and the Mexican Peso;
•changes in the economic conditions or consumer preferences or demand for our products in these markets;
•the risk that because our brand names may not be locally recognized, we must spend significant amounts of time and money to build brand recognition without certainty that we will be successful;
•political and economic instability, as a result of war, terrorist attacks, pandemics, natural disasters or otherwise;
•lack of developed infrastructure;
•longer payment cycles and greater difficulty in collecting accounts;
•restrictions on transfers of funds;
•import and export duties and quotas, as well as general transportation costs;
•changes in domestic and international customs and tariffs;
•compliance with laws and regulations concerning ethical business practices, such as U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act;
•compliance with U.S. economic sanctions and laws and regulations (including those administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") and export controls;
•changes in foreign labor laws and regulations affecting our ability to hire and retain employees;
•inadequate protection of intellectual property in foreign countries;
•unexpected changes in regulatory environments;
•actions taken by governmental authorities to contain the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate its public health effects;
•difficulty in complying with foreign law; and
•adverse tax consequences.
The foregoing factors may have a material adverse effect on our ability to increase or maintain our supply of products, financial condition or results of operations.
As a result of our international operations, we face a number of risks related to exchange rates and foreign currencies.
Our international sales and certain of our expenses are transacted in foreign currencies. During the fiscal year ended September 30, 2023, approximately 41% of our net sales were denominated in foreign currencies. We expect that the amount of our revenues and expenses transacted in foreign currencies will increase as our Latin American, European and Asian operations grow and as a result of acquisitions in these markets and, as a result, our exposure to risks associated with foreign currencies could increase accordingly. Significant changes in the value of the U.S. dollar in relation to foreign currencies will affect our sales through our pricing for certain segments or products sold in international jurisdictions, our purchasing activity and cost of goods sold, and our overall operating margins, which could result in exchange losses or otherwise have a material effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Changes in currency exchange rates may also affect our sales to, purchases from, and loans to, our subsidiaries, as well as sales to, purchases from, and bank lines of credit with, our customers, suppliers and creditors that are denominated in foreign currencies.
We source many products from China and other Asian countries. To the extent the Chinese Renminbi (“RMB”) or other currencies depreciate or appreciate with respect to the U.S. dollar ("USD"), we may experience fluctuations in our results of operations. The RMB is not pegged to the USD at a constant exchange rate and instead fluctuates versus a basket of currencies. Although the People’s Bank of China has historically intervened in the foreign exchange market to prevent significant short-term fluctuations in the exchange rate, the RMB may appreciate or depreciate within a flexible peg range against the USD in the medium to long term. Moreover, it is possible that in the future Chinese authorities may lift restrictions on fluctuations in the RMB exchange rate and lessen intervention in the foreign exchange market.
Additionally, many products in our international operations are sourced through USD denominated transactions and sold within their respective markets using local currencies. We may experience fluctuations in our results of operations for changes in the local currency rates reflective of the USD. The deterioration of any local currency against the USD may impact our ability to appropriately price and realize operating margins for such products consistent to historical operations within those international markets. We may not be successful in implementing customer pricing or other actions in an effort to mitigate the impact of currency fluctuations and, consequently, our results of operations may be adversely impacted.
While we may enter into hedging transactions in the future, the availability and effectiveness of these transactions may be limited, and we may not be able to successfully hedge our exposure to currency fluctuations. See Note 14 - Derivatives in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report for further detail on related hedging activity.
Our international operations expose us to risks related to compliance with the laws and regulations of foreign countries.
Electronic and electrical products that depend on electric current to operate (“EEE”) that we sell in Europe are subject to regulation in EU markets under two key EU directives. Among our brands, this includes a limited range of products, such as aquarium pumps, heaters, and lighting. We are subject to two EU Directives that may have a material impact on our business: Restriction of the Use of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (“RUHSEEE”) and Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (“WEEE”). RUHSEEE requires us to eliminate specified hazardous materials from products we sell in EU member states. WEEE requires us to collect and treat, dispose of or recycle certain products we manufacture or import into the EU at our own expense. The costs associated with maintaining compliance or failing to comply with the EU Directives may harm our business. For example:
•Although contracts with our suppliers address related compliance issues, we may be unable to procure appropriate RUHSEEE-compliant material in sufficient quantity and quality and/or be able to incorporate it into our product procurement processes without compromising quality and/or harming our cost structure.
•We may face excess and/or obsolete inventory risk related to non-compliant inventory that we may hold for which there is reduced demand, and we may need to write down the carrying value of such inventories.
We believe that compliance with RUHSEEE does not have a material effect on our capital expenditures, financial condition, earnings or competitive position. To comply with WEEE requirements, we have partnered with other companies to create a comprehensive collection, treatment, disposal and recycling program as specified within the member countries we conduct business. As EU member states pass enabling legislation we currently expect our compliance system to be sufficient to meet such requirements. Our current estimated costs associated with compliance with WEEE are not significant based on our current market share. However, we continue to evaluate the impact of the WEEE legislation and implementing regulations as EU member states implement guidance and as our market share changes and, as a result, actual costs to our company could differ from our current estimates and may be material to our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Many of the developing countries in which we operate do not have significant governmental regulation relating to environmental safety, occupational safety, employment practices or other business matters routinely regulated in the U.S. and EU or may not rigorously enforce such regulation. As these countries and their economies develop, it is possible that new regulations or increased enforcement of existing regulations may increase the expense of doing business in these countries. In addition, social legislation in many countries in which we operate may result in significantly higher expenses associated with labor costs, terminating employees or distributors and closing manufacturing facilities. Increases in our costs as a result of increased regulation, legislation or enforcement could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We face risks related to the impact on foreign trade agreements and relations.
Recent changes in the United States federal government have caused uncertainty about the future of trade partnerships and treaties, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”) and the World Trade Organization. The United States has withdrawn from the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (“TPPA”), which may affect the Company’s ability to leverage lower cost facilities in territories outside of the U.S. Additionally, on November 30, 2018 the U.S., Mexico, and Canada signed a replacement trade deal for NAFTA known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”), which was subsequently ratified by each government. The USMCA maintains duty-free access for most products and leaves most key provisions of the NAFTA agreement largely intact. Any additional assertive trade policies could result in further conflicts with U.S. trading partners, which could affect the Company’s supply chains, sourcing, and markets. Foreign countries may impose additional burdens on U.S. companies through the use of local regulations, tariffs or other requirements which could increase our operating costs in those foreign jurisdictions. It remains unclear what additional actions, if any, the current administration will take. If the United States were to materially modify or replace any international trade agreements to which it is a party, or if tariffs were raised on the foreign-sourced goods that we sell, such goods may no longer be available at a commercially attractive price, which in turn could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We face risks relating to tariffs imposed by the United States and other governments.
The United States government has implemented tariffs on certain products imported into the United States, which has resulted in reciprocal tariffs from the European Union on goods imported from the United States. In addition, for a number of countries, including European countries and China, the United States government has placed a series of tariffs on imported goods. In response a number of countries, including several in Europe as well as China, have imposed tariffs on a wide range of American products. Additional tariffs could be imposed by the United States or on the United States’ response to actions taken by the United States government. These governmental actions could have, and any similar future action may have, a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and result of operations. For instance, a large percentage of our products that we sell in the United States are manufactured or sourced in China. The imposition of tariffs on products imported by us from China have in some cases required us to increase prices to our customers or and/or resulted in lowering our gross margin on products sold.
We are subject to risks associated with importing goods and materials from foreign countries.
A portion of goods and materials may be sourced by vendors and by us outside of the United States. Although we have implemented policies and procedures designed to facilitate compliance with laws and regulations relating to doing business in foreign markets and importing merchandise from abroad, there can be no assurance that suppliers and other third parties with whom we do business will not violate such laws and regulations or our policies, which could subject us to liability and could adversely affect our results of operations.
We are subject to the various risks of importing merchandise from abroad and purchasing product made in foreign countries, such as:
•potential disruptions in manufacturing, logistics and supply;
•changes in duties, tariffs, quotas and voluntary export restrictions on imported goods;
•strikes and other events affecting delivery;
•product compliance with laws and regulations of the destination country;
•product liability claims from customers or penalties from government agencies relating to products that are recalled, defective or otherwise noncompliance or alleged to be harmful;
•concerns about human rights, working conditions and other labor rights and conditions and environmental impact in foreign countries where goods are produced and materials or components are sourced, and changing labor, environmental and other laws in these countries;
•local business practice and political issues that may result in adverse publicity or threatened or actual adverse consumer actions, including boycotts;
•compliance with laws and regulations concerning ethical business practices, such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act;
•compliance with U.S. economic sanctions laws and regulations (including those administered by OFAC); and
•economic, political or other problems in countries from or through which goods are imported.
Political or financial instability, trade restrictions, tariffs, currency exchange rates, labor conditions, congestion and labor issues at major ports, transport capacity and costs, systems issues, problems in third-party distribution and warehousing and other interruptions of the supply chain, compliance with U.S. and foreign laws and regulations and other factors relating to international trade and imported merchandise beyond our control could affect the availability and the price of our inventory. These risks and other factors relating to foreign trade could subject us to liability or hinder our ability to access suitable merchandise on acceptable terms, which could adversely impact our results of operations. In addition, developments in tax policy, such as the disallowance of tax deductions for imported merchandise, or the imposition of tariffs on imported goods, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and liquidity
Risks Related to Data Privacy and Intellectual Property
We may not be able to adequately establish and protect our intellectual property rights, and the infringement or loss of our intellectual property rights could harm our business.
To establish and protect our intellectual property rights, we rely upon a combination of national, foreign and multinational patent, trademark and trade secret laws, together with licenses, confidentiality agreements and other contractual arrangements. The measures that we take to protect our intellectual property rights may prove inadequate to prevent third parties from infringing or misappropriating our intellectual property. We may need to resort to litigation to enforce or defend our intellectual property rights. If a competitor or collaborator files a patent application claiming technology also claimed by us, or a trademark application claiming a trademark, service mark or trade dress also used by us, in order to protect our rights, we may have to participate in expensive and time consuming opposition or interference proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or a similar foreign agency. Similarly, our intellectual property rights may be challenged by third parties or invalidated through administrative process or litigation. The costs associated with protecting intellectual property rights, including litigation costs, may be material. Furthermore, even if our intellectual property rights are not directly challenged, disputes among third parties could lead to the weakening or invalidation of our intellectual property rights, or our competitors may independently develop technologies that are substantially equivalent or superior to our technology. Obtaining, protecting and defending intellectual property rights can be time consuming and expensive, and may require us to incur substantial costs, including the diversion of the time and resources of management and technical personnel.
Moreover, the laws of certain foreign countries in which we operate or may operate in the future do not protect, and the governments of certain foreign countries do not enforce, intellectual property rights to the same extent as do the laws and government of the U.S., which may negate our competitive or technological advantages in such markets. Also, some of the technology underlying our products is the subject of nonexclusive licenses from third parties. As a result, this technology could be made available to our competitors at any time. If we are unable to establish and then adequately protect our intellectual property rights, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.
We license various trademarks, tradenames and patents from third parties for certain of our products. These licenses generally place marketing obligations on us and require us to pay fees and royalties based on net sales or profits. Typically, these licenses may be terminated if we fail to satisfy certain minimum sales obligations or if we breach the terms of the license. The termination of these licensing arrangements, failure to renew or enter into a new agreement on acceptable terms could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. When our right to use these trademarks, brand names and logos expires, we may not be able to maintain or enjoy comparable name recognition or status under our new brand. If we are unable to successfully manage the transition of our business to new brands, our reputation among our customers could be adversely affected, and our revenue and profitability could decline. Refer to Item 1 - Business included elsewhere in this Annual Report for further discussions on licensed tradenames and related contractual terms. There can be no assurance that we will be able to renew our existing licensing agreements for associated tradenames outside of their existing terms and options, or that we will be able to retain tradenames indefinitely that are not directly owned by the Company.
If we are unable to protect the confidentiality of our proprietary information and know-how, the value of our technology, products and services could be harmed significantly.
We rely on trade secrets, know-how and other proprietary information in operating our business. If this information is not adequately protected, then it may be disclosed or used in an unauthorized manner. To the extent that consultants, key employees or other third parties apply technological information independently developed by them or by others to our proposed products, disputes may arise as to the proprietary rights to such information, which may not be resolved in our favor. The risk that other parties may breach confidentiality agreements or that our trade secrets become known or independently discovered by competitors, could harm us by enabling our competitors, who may have greater experience and financial resources, to copy or use our trade secrets and other proprietary information in the advancement of their products, methods or technologies. The disclosure of our trade secrets would impair our competitive position, thereby weakening demand for our products or services and harming our ability to maintain or increase our customer base.
Claims by third parties that we are infringing their intellectual property and other litigation could adversely affect our business.
From time to time in the past we have been subject to claims that we are infringing the intellectual property of others. We currently are the subject of such claims and it is possible that third parties will assert infringement claims against us in the future. An adverse finding against us in these or similar trademark or other intellectual property litigation may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Any such claims, with or without merit, could be time consuming and expensive, and may require us to incur substantial costs, including the diversion of the resources of management and technical personnel, cause product delays or require us to enter into licensing or other agreements in order to secure continued access to necessary or desirable intellectual property. If we are deemed to be infringing a third-party’s intellectual property and are unable to continue using that intellectual property as we had been, our business and results of operations could be harmed if we are unable to successfully develop non-infringing alternative intellectual property on a timely basis or license non-infringing alternatives or substitutes, if any exist, on commercially reasonable terms. In addition, an unfavorable ruling in intellectual property litigation could subject us to significant liability, as well as require us to cease developing, manufacturing or selling the affected products or using the affected processes or trademarks. Any significant restriction on our proprietary or licensed intellectual property that impedes our ability to develop and commercialize our products could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
A cybersecurity breach or failure of one or more key information technology systems could have a material adverse impact on our business or reputation.
We rely extensively on information technology (IT) systems, networks and services, including internet sites, data hosting and processing facilities and tools and other hardware, software and technical applications and platforms, some of which are managed, hosted, provided and/or used by third-parties or their vendors, to assist in conducting our business.
Our IT systems have been, and will likely continue to be, subject to computer viruses or other malicious codes, unauthorized access attempts, phishing and other cyber-attacks. We continue to assess potential threats and make investments seeking to address and prevent these threats, including monitoring of networks and systems and upgrading skills, employee training and security policies for the Company and its third-party providers. However, because the techniques used in these attacks change frequently and may be difficult to detect for periods of time, we may face difficulties in anticipating and implementing adequate preventative measures. To date, we have seen no material impact on our business or operations from these attacks; however, we cannot guarantee that our security efforts will prevent breaches or breakdowns to our or our third-party providers’ databases or systems. If the IT systems, networks or service providers we rely upon fail to function properly, or if we or one of our third-party providers suffer a loss, significant unavailability of or disclosure of our business or stakeholder information, and our business continuity plans do not effectively address these failures on a timely basis, we may be exposed to reputational, competitive and business harm as well as litigation and regulatory action. The costs and operational consequences of responding to breaches and implementing remediation measures could be significant.
Disruption or failures of our information technology systems could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Our IT systems are susceptible to security breaches, operational data loss, general disruptions in functionality, and may not be compatible with new technology. We depend on our IT systems for the effectiveness of our operations and to interface with our customers, as well as to maintain financial records and accuracy. Disruption or failures of our IT systems could impair our ability to effectively and timely provide our services and products and maintain our financial records, which could damage our reputation and have a material adverse effect on our business.
Our actual or perceived failure to adequately protect personal data could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
A continually evolving variety of state, national, foreign, and international laws and regulations apply to the collection, use, retention, protection, disclosure, transfer, and other processing of personal data. These privacy and data protection-related laws and regulations are evolving, with new or modified laws and regulations proposed and implemented frequently and existing laws and regulations subject to new or different interpretations. Compliance with these laws and regulations can be costly and can delay or impede the development of new products.
Our actual or alleged failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations, or a government's interpretation of its laws and regulations, or an actual or alleged failure to protect personal data, could result in enforcement actions and significant penalties against us, which could result in negative publicity, increase our operating costs, subject us to claims or other remedies and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
We are subject to data security and privacy risks that could negatively affect our results, operations or reputation.
In addition to our own sensitive and proprietary business information, we handle transactional and personal information about our customers, suppliers and vendors. Hackers and data thieves are increasingly sophisticated and operate social engineering, such as phishing, and large-scale, complex automated attacks that can evade detection for long periods of time. Any breach of our or our service providers' network, or other vendor systems, may result in the loss of confidential business and financial data, misappropriation of our consumers', users' or employees' personal information or a disruption of our business. Any of these outcomes could have a material adverse effect on our business, including unwanted media attention, impairment of our consumer and customer relationships, damage to our reputation; resulting in lost sales and consumers, fines, lawsuits, or significant legal and remediation expenses. We also may need to expend significant resources to protect against, respond to and/or redress problems caused by any breach.
In addition, we must comply with increasingly complex and rigorous regulatory standards enacted to protect business and personal data in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere. For example, the European Union adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”), which became effective on May 25, 2018, and California passed the California Consumer Privacy Act (the "CCPA"), which became effective on January 1, 2020, and is being amended by the California Privacy Rights Act ("CPRA"), which became effective on January 1, 2023. These laws impose additional obligations on companies such as ours regarding the handling of personal data and provides certain individual privacy rights to persons whose data is stored. Compliance with existing, proposed and recently enacted laws (including implementation of the privacy and process enhancements called for under GDPR, CCPA, CPRA and regulations can be costly; any failure to comply with these regulatory standards could subject us to legal and reputational risks. Misuse of or failure to secure personal information could also result in violation of data privacy laws and regulations, proceedings against the Company by governmental entities or others, damage to our reputation and credibility and could have a negative impact on revenues and profits.
Risks Related to Litigation and Regulatory Compliance
Class action and derivative action lawsuits and other investigations, regardless of their merits, could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We and certain of our officers and directors have been named in the past, and, may be named in the future, as defendants of class action and derivative action lawsuits. In the past, we have also received requests for information from government authorities. Regardless of their subject matter or merits, class action lawsuits and other government investigations may result in significant cost to us, which may not be covered by insurance, may divert the attention of management or may otherwise have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are subject to a number of claims and litigation and may be subject to future claims and litigation, any of which may adversely affect our business.
From time to time in the past we have been subject to a variety of claims and litigation and we may in the future be subject to additional claims and litigation (including class action lawsuits). For instance, following periods of volatility in the market price of our stock, we have become subject to the class action shareholder litigation. We are also subject to various other litigation and claims on a variety of matters. Based on the information currently available, we believe that our ultimate liability for the matters or proceedings presently pending against the Company will not have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business or financial condition. But, regardless of their merits, lawsuits (including class action lawsuits) may result in significant cost to the Company that may not be covered by insurance and may divert attention of management or may otherwise have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operation. See Note 20 - Commitments and Contingencies in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report for further discussion over material claims and litigation.
The Company may be subject to product liability claims and product recalls, which could negatively impact its profitability.
In the ordinary course of our business, the Company may be named as a defendant in lawsuits involving product liability claims. In any such proceedings, plaintiffs may seek to recover large and sometimes unspecified amounts of damages, and the matters may remain unresolved for several years. Any such matters could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and cash flows if we are unable to successfully defend against or settle these matters or if our insurance coverage is insufficient to satisfy any judgments against us or settlement related to these matters. The Company sells perishable treats for animal consumption, which involves risks such as product contamination or spoilage, product tampering, and other adulteration of food products. The Company may be subject to liability if the consumption of any of its products causes injury, illness, or death. In addition, the Company will voluntarily recall products in the event of contamination or damage. A significant product liability judgment or a widespread product recall may negatively impact the Company’s sales and profitability for a period of time depending on product availability, competitive reaction, and consumer attitudes. Even if a product liability claim is unsuccessful or is not fully pursued, the negative publicity surrounding any assertion that Company products caused illness or injury could adversely affect the Company’s reputation with existing and potential customers and its corporate and brand image. Although we have product liability insurance coverage and an excess umbrella policy, our insurance policies may not provide coverage for certain, or any, claims against us or may not be sufficient to cover all possible liabilities. We may not be able to maintain such insurance on acceptable terms, if at all, in the future. See Note 20 - Commitments and Contingencies in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report for further discussion on product liability.
Agreements, transactions and litigation involving or resulting from the activities of our predecessor and its former subsidiaries may subject us to future claims or litigation that could materially adversely impact our capital resources.
The Company was formerly known as HRG, which is the successor to Zapata Corporation, which was a holding company engaged, through its subsidiaries, in a number of business activities and over the course of HRG’s existence, acquired and disposed of a number of businesses. The activities of such entities may subject us to future claims or litigation regardless of the merit of such claims or litigation and the defenses available to us. The time and expense that we may be required to dedicate to such matters may be material to us and our subsidiaries and may adversely impact our capital resources. In certain instances, we may have continuing obligations pursuant to certain of these transactions, including obligations to indemnify other parties to agreements, and may be subject to risks resulting from these transactions.
We may incur material capital and other costs due to environmental liabilities.
We are subject to a broad range of federal, state, local, foreign and multi-national laws and regulations relating to the environment. These include laws and regulations that govern:
•discharges to the air, water and land;
•the handling and disposal of solid and hazardous substances and wastes; and
•remediation of contamination associated with release of hazardous substances at our facilities and at off-site disposal locations.
Risk of environmental liability is inherent in our business. As a result, material environmental costs may arise in the future. In particular, we may incur capital and other costs to comply with increasingly stringent environmental laws and enforcement policies, such as the EU Directives: Restriction of the Use of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment discussed above. Our international operations may expose us to risks related to compliance with the laws and regulations of foreign countries. See the risk factor Our international operations may expose us to risks related to compliance with the laws and regulations of foreign countries included elsewhere in this Annual Report.
Moreover, there are adopted and proposed international accords and treaties, as well as federal, state and local laws and regulations, that would attempt to control or limit the causes of climate change, including the effect of greenhouse gas emissions on the environment. In the event that the U.S. government or foreign governments enact new climate change laws or regulations or make changes to existing laws or regulations, compliance with applicable laws or regulations may result in increased manufacturing costs for our products, such as by requiring investment in new pollution control equipment or changing the ways in which certain of our products are made. We may incur some of these costs directly and others may be passed on to us from our third-party suppliers. Although we believe that we are substantially in compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations at our facilities, we may not always be in compliance with such laws and regulations or any new laws and regulations in the future, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
From time to time, we have been required to address the effect of historic activities on the environmental condition of our properties or former properties. We have not conducted invasive testing at all of our facilities to identify all potential environmental liability risks. Given the age of our facilities and the nature of our operations, material liabilities may arise in the future in connection with our current or former facilities. If previously unknown contamination of property underlying or in the vicinity of our manufacturing facilities is discovered, we could be required to incur material unforeseen expenses. If this occurs, it may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. We are currently engaged in investigative or remedial projects at a few of our facilities and any liabilities arising from such investigative or remedial projects at such facilities may have a material effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, in connection with certain business acquisitions, we have assumed, and in connection with future acquisitions may assume, certain potential environmental liabilities. To the extent we have not identified such environmental liabilities or to the extent the indemnifications obtained from our counterparties are insufficient to cover such environmental liabilities, these environmental liabilities could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We are also subject to proceedings related to our disposal of industrial and hazardous material at off-site disposal locations or similar disposals made by other parties for which we are responsible as a result of our relationship with such other parties. These proceedings are under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) or similar state or foreign jurisdiction laws that hold persons who “arranged for” the disposal or treatment of such substances strictly liable for costs incurred in responding to the release or threatened release of hazardous substances from such sites, regardless of fault or the lawfulness of the original disposal. Liability under CERCLA is typically joint and several, meaning that a liable party may be responsible for all of the costs incurred in investigating and remediating contamination at a site. We occasionally are identified by federal or state governmental agencies as being a potentially responsible party for response actions contemplated at an off-site facility. At the existing sites where we have been notified of our status as a potentially responsible party, it is either premature to determine if our potential liability, if any, will be material or we do not believe that our liability, if any, will be material. We may be named as a potentially responsible party under CERCLA or similar state or foreign jurisdiction laws in the future for other sites not currently known to us, and the costs and liabilities associated with these sites may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
It is difficult to quantify with certainty the potential financial impact of actions regarding expenditures for environmental matters, particularly remediation, and future capital expenditures for environmental control equipment. See Note 20 - Commitments and Contingencies in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report for further discussion on estimated liabilities arising from such environmental matters. Nevertheless, based upon the information currently available, we believe that our ultimate liability arising from such environmental matters should not be material to our business or financial condition.
Compliance with various public health, consumer protection and other regulations applicable to our products and facilities could increase our cost of doing business and expose us to additional requirements with which we may be unable to comply.
Certain of our products sold through, and facilities operated under, each of our business segments are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), the United States Department of Agriculture or other federal or state consumer protection and product safety agencies and are subject to the regulations such agencies enforce, as well as by similar state, foreign and multinational agencies and regulations. For example, in the U.S., all products containing pesticides must be registered with the EPA and, in many cases, similar state and foreign agencies before they can be manufactured or sold. Our inability to obtain, or the cancellation of, any registration could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. The severity of the effect would depend on which products were involved, whether another product could be substituted and whether our competitors were similarly affected. We attempt to anticipate regulatory developments and maintain registrations of, and access to, substitute chemicals and other ingredients, but we may not always be able to avoid or minimize these risks.
As a distributor of consumer products in the U.S., certain of our products are also subject to the Consumer Product Safety Act, which empowers the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (the “Consumer Commission”) to exclude from the market products that are found to be unsafe or hazardous. Under certain circumstances, the Consumer Commission could require us to repair, replace or refund the purchase price of one or more of our products, or we may voluntarily do so. Any additional repurchases or recalls of our products could be costly to us and could damage the reputation or the value of our brands. If we are required to remove, or we voluntarily remove our products from the market, our reputation or brands could be tarnished, and we may have large quantities of finished products that could not be sold. Furthermore, failure to timely notify the Consumer Commission of a potential safety hazard can result in significant fines being assessed against us. Additionally, laws regulating certain consumer products exist in some states, as well as in other countries in which we sell our products, and more restrictive laws and regulations may be adopted in the future.
Certain of our products and packaging materials are subject to regulations administered by the FDA. Among other things, the FDA enforces statutory prohibitions against misbranded and adulterated products, establishes ingredients and manufacturing procedures for certain products, establishes standards of identity for certain products, determines the safety of products and establishes labeling standards and requirements. In addition, various states regulate these products by enforcing federal and state standards of identity for selected products, grading products, inspecting production facilities and imposing their own labeling requirements.
The Food Quality Protection Act (“FQPA”) established a standard for food-use pesticides, which is that a reasonable certainty of no harm will result from the cumulative effect of pesticide exposures. Under the FQPA, the EPA is evaluating the cumulative effects from dietary and non-dietary exposures to pesticides. The pesticides in certain of our products that are sold through our H&G business continue to be evaluated by the EPA as part of this program. It is possible that the EPA or a third-party active ingredient registrant may decide that a pesticide we use in our products will be limited or made unavailable to us. We cannot predict the outcome or the severity of the effect of the EPA’s continuing evaluations of active ingredients used in our products.
In addition, the use of certain pesticide products that are sold through our H&G business may, among other things, be regulated by various local, state, federal and foreign environmental and public health agencies. These regulations may require that only certified or professional users apply the product, that users post notices on properties where products have been or will be applied or that certain ingredients may not be used. Compliance with such public health regulations could increase our cost of doing business and expose us to additional requirements with which we may be unable to comply.
The United States Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”) was amended in 2016, and the EPA is currently evaluating additional chemicals for regulation under that amended law. Certain of our products may be manufactured using chemicals or other ingredients that may be subject to regulation under current TSCA regulations, and other chemicals or ingredients may be regulated under the law in the future. We do not expect that compliance with current or future TSCA regulations will cause us to incur expenditures that are material to our business, financial condition or results of operations; however, it is possible that our future liability could be material.
The fish sold under the GloFish brand can be classified as an intragenic or transgenic species due to the addition of their bioluminescent genes, which means the FDA has the authority to regulate as the luminescence is caused by intentionally altered genomic DNA. Additional regulatory agencies, including the EPA, as well as agencies in U.S. and foreign states have authority to regulate these types of species. It is possible that the EPA, FDA, another U.S. federal agency, a U.S. state, or a foreign agency could in the future seek to exercise authority over the distribution and/or sale of GloFish brand fish. We will continue to monitor the development of any regulations that might apply to our bioluminescent fish.
Certain of our products may be regulated under programs within the United States, Canada, or in other countries that may require that those products and the associated product packaging be recycled or managed for disposal through a designated recycling program. Some programs are funded through assessment of a fee on the manufacturer and suppliers, including the Company. We do not expect that such programs will cause us to incur expenditures that are material to our business, financial condition or results of operations; however, it is possible that our future liability could be material.
Any failure to comply with these laws or regulations, or the terms of applicable environmental permits, could result in us incurring substantial costs, including fines, penalties and other civil and criminal sanctions or the prohibition of sales of our pest control products. Environmental law requirements and the enforcement thereof, change frequently, have tended to become more stringent over time and could require us to incur significant expenses.
Most federal, state and local authorities require certification by Underwriters Laboratory, Inc. (“UL”), an independent, not-for-profit corporation engaged in the testing of products for compliance with certain public safety standards, or other safety regulation certification prior to marketing electrical appliances. Foreign jurisdictions also have regulatory authorities overseeing the safety of consumer products. Our products may not meet the specifications required by these authorities. A determination that any of our products are not in compliance with these rules and regulations could result in the imposition of fines or an award of damages to private litigants.
We may be unable to achieve the goals and aspirations set forth in our sustainability report, particularly with respect to the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, or otherwise meet the expectations of our stakeholders with respect to ESG matters.
Increasing governmental and societal attention to ESG matters, including expanding mandatory and voluntary reporting, and disclosure topics such as climate change, sustainability, natural resources, waste reduction, energy, human capital, and risk oversight could expand the nature, scope, and complexity of matters that we are required to control, assess, and report. We strive to deliver shared value through our business and our diverse stakeholders expect us to make progress in certain ESG priority issue areas. A failure or perceived failure to meet these expectations could adversely affect public perception of our business, employee morale or customer or shareholder support.
We have announced certain aspirations and goals related to ESG matters, such as plans to reduce certain GHG emissions over time. Achievement of these aspirations, targets, plans and goals is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside of our control. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: our ability to successfully identify and implement relevant strategies on a timely and cost-effective basis; our ability to achieve the anticipated benefits and cost savings of such strategies and actions; and the availability and cost of existing and future technologies, such as alternative fuel vehicles, off-site renewable energy, and other materials and components. It is possible that we may be unsuccessful in the achievement of our ESG goals, on a timely basis or at all, or that the costs to achieve those goals become prohibitively expensive. Furthermore, our stakeholders may not be satisfied with our efforts or the speed at which we are progressing towards any such aspirations and goals. A delay, failure or perceived failure or delay to meet our goals and aspirations could adversely affect public perception of our business, or we may lose shareholder support. Certain challenges we face in the achievement of our ESG objectives are also captured within our ESG reporting, which is not incorporated by reference into and does not for many part of this report.
Public perceptions that some of the products we produce and market are not safe could adversely affect us.
On occasion, customers have alleged that some products failed to perform up to expectations or have caused damage or injury to individuals or property. Public perception that any of our products are not safe, whether justified or not, could impair our reputation, damage our brand names and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, we rely on certain third-party trademarks, brand names and logos of which we do not have exclusive use of. Public perception that any such third-party trademarks, brand names and logos used by us are not safe, whether justified or not, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
If our goodwill, indefinite-lived intangible assets or other long-term assets become impaired, we will be required to record additional impairment charges, which may be significant.
A significant portion of our long-term assets consist of goodwill, other indefinite-lived intangible assets and finite-lived intangible assets recorded as a result of past acquisitions as well as through fresh start reporting. We do not amortize goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets, but rather review them for impairment on a periodic basis or whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that their carrying value may not be recoverable. We consider whether circumstances or conditions exist which suggest that the carrying value of our goodwill and other long-lived intangible assets might be impaired. If such circumstances or conditions exist, further steps are required in order to determine whether the carrying value of each of the individual assets exceeds its fair value. If analysis indicates that an individual asset’s carrying value does exceed its fair value, the next step is to record a loss equal to the excess of the individual asset’s carrying value over its fair value.
The analysis required by GAAP entail significant amounts of judgment and subjectivity. Events and changes in circumstances that may indicate that there may be an impairment and which may indicate that interim impairment testing is necessary include, but are not limited to: strategic decisions to exit a business or dispose of an asset made in response to changes in economic, political and competitive conditions; the impact of the economic environment on the customer base and on broad market conditions that drive valuation considerations by market participants; our internal expectations with regard to future revenue growth and the assumptions we make when performing impairment reviews; a significant decrease in the market price of our assets; a significant adverse change in the extent or manner in which our assets are used; a significant adverse change in legal factors or the business climate that could affect our assets; an accumulation of costs significantly in excess of the amount originally expected for the acquisition of an asset; and significant changes in the cash flows associated with an asset. As a result of such circumstances, we may be required to record a significant charge to earnings in our financial statements during the period in which any impairment of our goodwill, indefinite-lived intangible assets or other long-term assets is determined. Any such impairment charges could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results. See Note 11 – Goodwill and Intangible Assets in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements, included elsewhere in this Annual Report for further detail.
The successful execution of our operational efficiency and multi-year restructuring initiatives are important to the long-term growth of our business.
We continue to engage in targeted restructuring initiatives to align our business operations in response to current and anticipated future market conditions and investment strategy. We will evaluate opportunities for additional initiatives to restructure or reorganize the business across our operating segments and functions with a focus on areas of strategic growth and optimizing operational efficiency. Significant risks associated with these actions may impair our ability to achieve the anticipated cost reduction or may disrupt our business including delays in shipping, implementation of workforce, redundant costs, and failure to meet operational targets. In addition, our ability to achieve the anticipated cost savings and other benefits from these actions within the expected timeframe is subject to many estimates and assumptions. These estimates and assumptions are subject to significant economic, competitive and other uncertainties, some of which are beyond our control. If these estimates and assumptions are incorrect, experience delays, or if other unforeseen events occur, our business and results of operation could be adversely affected. Refer to Note 5 - Restructuring Charges in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report for additional detail over restructuring related activity.
Risks Related to Investment in our Common Stock
Our Restated Bylaws provide that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the exclusive forum for substantially all disputes between us and our stockholders, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers or employees.
Our restated bylaws provide that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware is the exclusive forum for any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, any action asserting a breach of fiduciary duty, any action asserting a claim against us arising pursuant to the Delaware General Corporation Law, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or our restated bylaws, any action to interpret, apply, enforce, or determine the validity of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or bylaws, or any action asserting a claim against us that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine. The choice of forum provision may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers or other employees, which may discourage such lawsuits against us and our directors, officers and other employees. Alternatively, if a court were to find the choice of forum provision contained in our restated bylaws to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such action in other jurisdictions, which could adversely affect our business and financial condition.
Certain provisions of our charter, bylaws, and of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”) have anti-takeover effects and could delay, discourage, defer or prevent a tender offer or takeover attempt that a stockholder might consider to be in the stockholder’s best interests.
Certain provisions of our charter and bylaws and the DGCL may have the effect of delaying or preventing changes in control if our board of directors determines that such changes in control are not in the best interests of the Company and its stockholders. Such provisions include, among other things, those that:
•authorize the board of directors to issue preferred shares and to determine the terms, including the number of shares, voting powers, redemption provisions, dividend rates, liquidation preferences and conversion rights, of those shares, without stockholder approval;
•permit the removal of directors by the stockholders only for cause and then only by the affirmative vote of a majority of the outstanding shares of our common stock;
•opt in to Section 203 of the DGCL, which generally prohibits a Delaware corporation from engaging in a “business combination” with any interested stockholder (generally speaking a stockholder who holds 15% or more of our voting stock) for three years from the date such stockholder becomes an interested stockholder unless certain conditions are met; and
•subject to certain exceptions, prohibit any person from acquiring shares of our common stock if such person is, or would become as a result of the acquisition, a “Substantial Holder” (as defined in our charter).
These provisions may frustrate or prevent attempts by stockholders to cause a change in control of the Company or to replace members of its board of directors.
Even though the Company’s common stock is currently traded on the NYSE, it has less liquidity than many other stocks quoted on a national securities exchange.
The trading volume in the Company’s common stock on the NYSE has been relatively low when compared with larger companies listed on the NYSE or other stock exchanges. Because of this, it may be more difficult for stockholders to sell a substantial number of shares for the same price at which stockholders could sell a smaller number of shares. We cannot predict the effect, if any, that future sales of the Company’s common stock in the market, or the availability of shares of its common stock for sale in the market, will have on the market price of the Company’s common stock. We can give no assurance that sales of substantial amounts of the Company’s common stock in the market, or the potential for large amounts of sales in the market, would not cause the price of the Company’s common stock to decline or impair the Company’s future ability to raise capital through sales of its common stock. Furthermore, because of the limited market and generally low volume of trading in the Company’s common stock that could occur, the share price of its common stock could be more likely to be affected by broad market fluctuations, general market conditions, fluctuations in our operating results, changes in the market's perception of our business, and announcements made by the Company, its competitors or parties with whom the Company has business relationships. The lack of liquidity in the Company’s common stock may also make it difficult for us to issue additional securities for financing or other purposes, or to otherwise arrange for any financing we may need in the future. In addition, we may experience other adverse effects, including, without limitation, the loss of confidence in us by current and prospective suppliers, customers, employees and others with whom we have or may seek to initiate business relationships.
The market price of the Company’s common stock is likely to be highly volatile and could fluctuate widely in price in response to various factors, many of which are beyond our control.
Factors that may influence the price of the common stock include, without limitation, the following:
•loss of any of our key customers or suppliers, including our B&D licensing agreement with SBD;
•additions or departures of key personnel;
•sales of common stock;
•our ability to execute our business plan;
•announcements and consummations of business acquisitions;
•operating results that fall below expectations;
•amount and terms of borrowings with debtors and net leverage provisions;
•additional issuances of common stock;
•low volume of sales due to concentrated ownership of common stock;
•intellectual property disputes;
•economic and other external factors; and
•period-to-period fluctuations in our financial results.
In addition, the securities markets have from time to time experienced significant price and volume fluctuations that are unrelated to the operating performance of particular companies. These market fluctuations may also materially and adversely affect the market price of the Company’s common stock. You should also be aware that price volatility might be worse if the trading volume of shares of the common stock is low.
Additional issuances of the Company’s common stock may result in dilution to its existing stockholders.
Under our 2011 equity incentive plan adopted by the shareholders in 2011, called the Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. 2011 Omnibus Equity Award Plan (the “2011 Equity Plan”), a total of 7.1 million shares of common stock of the Company, net of cancellations, have been authorized to be issued. As of September 30, 2023, we have issued 6.9 million restricted stock units (or the equivalent number of shares of common stock upon the lapsing of the applicable restrictions) under the 2011 Equity Plan and have a remaining authorization to issue up to a total of 0.2 million shares of our common stock, or options or restricted stock units exercisable for shares of common stock. On July 28, 2020, the Company's shareholders approved the Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. 2020 Omnibus Equity Plan (the "2020 Equity Plan") pursuant to which 2.6 million shares of common stock were authorized to be issued. As of September 30, 2023, we have issued 0.5 million stock units (or the equivalent number of shares of common stock upon lapsing of the applicable restrictions under the 2020 Equipment Plan and have a remaining authorization to issue up to a total of 2.1 million shares of our common stock or options or restricted stock units exercisable for shares of common stock.
In addition, the Company’s board of directors has the authority to issue additional shares of capital stock to provide additional financing or for other purposes in the future. The issuance of any such shares or exercise of any such options may result in a reduction of the book value or market price of the outstanding shares of common stock. If we do issue any such additional shares or any such options are exercised, such issuance or exercise also will cause a reduction in the proportionate ownership and voting power of all other stockholders. As a result of such dilution, the proportionate ownership interest and voting power of a holder of shares of common stock could be decreased.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
The following lists our principal owned or leased administrative, manufacturing, packaging, and distribution facilities at September 30, 2023
|Location||Function / Use||Owned / Leased|
|Bentonville, Arkansas||Shared Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Blacksburg, Virginia||GPC - Research & Development||Leased|
|Blacksburg, Virginia||GPC - Manufacturing||Owned|
|Bridgeton, Missouri||GPC - Manufacturing||Leased|
|Earth City, Missouri||GPC Headquarters, H&G Headquarters and NA Shared Operations||Leased|
|Edwardsville, Illinois||GPC - Distribution||Leased|
|Edwardsville, Illinois||H&G - Distribution||Leased|
|Fairfield, New Jersey||HPC - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Meriden, Connecticut||HPC - Distribution||Leased|
|Middleton, Wisconsin||Corporate Headquarters, HPC Headquarters and NA Shared Operations||Leased|
|Miramar, Florida||HPC -Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Mooresville, North Carolina||H&G - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Moorpark, California||GPC - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|New Britain, Connecticut||HPC - Distribution||Leased|
|Noblesville, Indiana||GPC - Manufacturing||Owned|
|Redlands, California||HPC - Distribution||Leased|
|Reno, Nevada||HPC - Distribution||Leased|
|Riverview, Florida||GPC - Research & Development||Owned|
|St. Louis, Missouri||H&G - Manufacturing||Leased|
|Location||Function / Use||Owned / Leased|
|Ballymount, Ireland||HPC - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Barcelona, Spain||HPC - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Bogota, Colombia||Shared - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Borgholzhausen, Germany||GPC - Distribution||Leased|
|Bucharest, Romania||HPC - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Buenos Aires, Argentina||HPC - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Coevorden, Netherlands||GPC - Distribution||Leased|
|El Dorado, Panama||HPC - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Guatemala, Guatemala||HPC - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Istanbul, Turkey||HPC - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Manchester, UK||Shared - UK Operations||Owned|
|Melle, Germany||GPC - Manufacturing||Owned|
|Mentone, Australia||HPC - Operations & Distribution||Leased|
|Mexico City, Mexico||Shared - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Milan, Italy||Shared - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Nuremberg, Germany||HPC - Distribution||Leased|
|Penrose, New Zealand||HPC - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|San Jose, Costa Rica ||HPC - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|San Salvador, El Salvador||HPC - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic||HPC - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Shanghai, China||HPC - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Shenzhen, China||APAC Shared Operations & Distribution||Leased|
|Singapore, Singapore||Shared Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Sofia, Bulgaria||HPC - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Stockholm, Sweden||HPC - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Sulzbach, Germany||EMEA Shared Operations||Leased|
|Tegucigalpa, Honduras||HPC - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Utrecht, Netherlands||HPC - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Vantaa, Finland||HPC - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Warsaw, Poland||Shared - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Wombourne, UK||HPC - Distribution||Leased|
|Xiamen, China||Shared - Commercial Operations||Leased|
|Yokohama, Japan||GPC Commercial Operations||Leased|
We also contract with third parties to operate distribution centers, sales and other administrative offices throughout the world in support of our business. We believe that our existing facilities are suitable and adequate for our present purposes and that the productive capacity in such facilities is substantially being utilized or we have plans to utilize it.
ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
We have disclosed all matters of legal proceedings believed to have an adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, liquidity or cash flows in the notes to our consolidated financial statements. See Note 20 - Commitments and Contingencies in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements, included elsewhere in this Annual Report for additional detail.
ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR THE REGISTRANTS’ COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
SBH’s common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “SPB”.
As of November 15, 2023, there were approximately 1,123 holders of record based upon data provided by the transfer agent for the SBH’s common stock. This number does not include the stockholders for whom shares are held in a “nominee” or “street” name.
SB/RH is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBH and accordingly, there is no established public trading market for its equity securities. As of November 15, 2023, there is only one record holder of its equity securities. During the years ended September 30, 2023 and 2022, SB/RH paid dividends of $305.1 million and $194.7 million, respectively, to its parent company, SBH. Certain restrictive covenants within the Company’s debt facilities impose limitations on payment of dividends by SB/RH’s subsidiaries to SBH.
Equity based incentive and performance compensation awards provided to employees, directors, officers and consultants were issued pursuant to the following awards plans:
•Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. 2011 Omnibus Equity Awards Plan as approved and amended by the Spectrum Legacy stockholders.
•Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. 2020 Omnibus Equity Plan, as approved and amended by the Spectrum stockholders.
The following is a summary of the authorized and available shares per the respective plans:
|(number of shares, in millions)||Authorized||Available|
|Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. 2011 Omnibus Equity Awards Plan||7.1 ||0.2 |
|Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. 2020 Omnibus Equity Plan||2.6 ||2.1 |
Refer to Note 18 – Share Based Compensation in Notes to our Consolidated Financial Statement included elsewhere in this Annual Report, for additional information.
Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers
On June 17, 2023, the Board of Directors approved a share repurchase program authorizing the purchase of up to $1 billion of common stock (the "Maximum Amount"). The share repurchase program will be in effect from June 17, 2023 until the earlier of the Maximum Amount being repurchased thereunder or the suspension, termination or replacement of the program by the Company's Board of Directors. The share repurchase program permits shares to be repurchased in open market or through privately negotiated transactions, including by direct purchases or purchases pursuant to derivative instruments or other transactions including pursuant to accelerated share repurchase agreements, the writing and settlement of put options and the purchase and exercise of call options). The number of shares to be repurchased, and the timing of any repurchases, will depend on factors such as the share price, economic and market conditions, and corporate and regulatory requirements.
During the year ended September 30, 2023, the Company entered into an accelerated share repurchase agreement (the "ASR Agreement") to repurchase an aggregate of $500.0 million of the Company's common stock under the Company's new share repurchase program. Pursuant to the agreement, the Company paid $500.0 million at inception and took delivery of 5.3 million shares which represented 80% of the total shares the Company expected to receive based on the market price at the time of the initial stock transaction. Upon settlement of the ASR agreement, the final number of shares to be delivered will be determined with reference to the volume weighted average price per share of our common stock over the term of the agreement, less a negotiated discount. The final settlement of the transaction under the agreement is expected to occur no later than December 20, 2023.
The following summarizes the activity of common stock repurchases under the program in the fourth quarter of the year ended September 30, 2023:
of Shares Purchased
as Part of Plan
Approximate Dollar Value
of Shares that may
Yet Be Purchased
|July 3, 2023 to July 30, 2023||— ||$||— ||— ||$||500,000,000 |
|July 31, 2023 to August 27, 2023||34,107 ||82.81 ||34,107 ||497,175,050 |
|August 28, 2023 to September 30, 2023||391,287 ||81.50 ||391,287 ||465,286,924 |
|As of September 30, 2023||5,768,702 ||5,768,702 ||$||465,286,924 |
The repurchase of additional shares in the future will depend upon many factors, including the Company’s financial condition, liquidity and legal requirements, and may use funds received from its divestitures to support the common stock repurchase program.
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities
Stock Performance Graph
The following graph compares the cumulative total stockholder return on our Common Stock to the cumulative total return of the Russell 1000 Financial Index, the S&P 500 Household Products Index, and the Spectrum Peer Group selected in good faith, which is composed of the following companies (alphabetical order): Allegion PLC, Central Garden and Pet Company, Church & Dwight Co., Inc., Edgewell Personal Care Company, Energizer Holdings, Inc., Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc., Hamilton Beach Brands Holding Company, Helen of Troy Limited, Newell Brands, Inc., Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc., Stanley Black & Decker, Inc., The Clorox Company, and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company.
The comparison below assumes that $100 was invested in the common stock of SBH from September 30, 2018 until September 30, 2023. The comparison is based upon the closing price of the common stock, as applicable, and assumes the reinvestment of all dividends, if any. The returns of each of the companies in our peer group are weighted according to the respective company’s stock market capitalization at the beginning of each period for which a return is indicated. The stockholder return shown on the graph below is not necessarily indicative of future performance and will not make or endorse any predictions as to future stockholder returns.
ITEM 6. RESERVED.
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following is management’s discussion of the financial results, liquidity and other key items related to our performance and should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report. The following is a combined report of SBH and SB/RH, and the following discussion includes SBH and certain matters related to SB/RH as signified below. Unless the context indicates otherwise, the terms the “Company,” “we,” “our” or “us” are used to refer to SBH and its subsidiaries and SB/RH and its subsidiaries, collectively.
The following section provides a general description of our business as well as recent developments for the years ended September 30, 2023 and 2022, which we believe are important to understanding our results of operations, financial condition, and understanding anticipated future trends. Refer to Item 1 - Business and Note 1 – Description of Business in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements, included elsewhere in this Annual Report for an overview of our business. For a discussion of our fiscal 2021 results, please refer to Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" for the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 30, 2022 filed with the SEC on November 22, 2022.
Acquisitions, Divestitures and Other Business Development Initiatives
The Company periodically evaluates strategic transactions that may result in the acquisition of a business or assets that qualify as a business combination, or a divestiture of a business or assets that may be recognized as either a component of continuing operations or discontinued operations, depending on the significance to the consolidated group. Acquisitions may impact the comparability of the consolidated or segment financial information, with the inclusion of the operating results for the acquired business in periods subsequent to acquisition date, the inclusion of acquired assets, both tangible and intangible (including goodwill), and the related amortization, depreciation or other non-cash purchase accounting adjustments of acquired assets. Divestitures may impact the comparability of the consolidated or segment financial information with the recognition of an impairment loss when held for sale, gain or loss on disposition, or change in classification to discontinued operations for a qualifying transactions. Moreover, the comparability of consolidated or segment financial information may be impacted by incremental costs to facilitate and effect such transactions and initiatives to integrate acquired business or separate divested operations and assets with the consolidated group. The following strategic transactions have been considered as having a significant impact on the comparability of the financial results on the consolidated financial statements and segment financial information.
•HHI Divestiture - On September 8, 2021, the Company entered into a Purchase Agreement with ASSA to sell its HHI segment. On June 20, 2023, the Company completed its divestiture of its HHI segment. The operating results of the HHI divestiture are included as Income From Discontinued Operations, Net of Tax for all periods presented through the date of the divestiture, including the gain on sale. See Note 3 - Divestitures in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements, included elsewhere in this Annual Report for further detail. The Company has incurred incremental costs attributable to the divestiture, consisting of legal and professional fees to effect the realization of the Purchase Agreement, preparation for separation of systems and processes supporting the divested business and enabling functions under a transition services agreement ("TSA"). Transaction costs directly attributable to the close of the transaction including certain compensatory costs contingent upon the successful completion of the sale are included as a component of the gain on sale of discontinued operations. Incremental costs are expected to be incurred following consummation of the transaction to support TSA processes and mitigation following the close of the sale are expected to be incurred for a transition period of approximately 12-24 months following the close of the transaction.
•HPC Separation - The Company has initiated projects to facilitate a strategic separation of the Company's ownership in the HPC segment in the most advantageous way to realize value for both the HPC business as a standalone appliance business either through a spin, merger or other strategic transaction, and the retained GPC and H&G businesses of the consolidated group. Costs are primarily attributable to legal and professional fees incurred to assess opportunities, evaluate transaction considerations for a separation, including potential tax and compliance implications, costs directly attributable to the legal entity separation and transfer of net assets of the HPC operations from commingled operations of the Company, plus the segregation of systems and processes. Costs attributable to the initiative are expected to be incurred until a transaction is realized or otherwise cancelled.
•Tristar Business Acquisition - During the year ended September 30, 2022, on February 18, 2022, the Company acquired 100% of the Tristar Business that includes a portfolio of home appliances and cookware products sold under the PowerXL®, Emeril, and Copper Chef® brands. The net assets and operating results of the Tristar Business are included in the Consolidated Financial Statements and reported within the HPC reporting segment as of and for the years ended September 30, 2023 and 2022, effective as of the transaction date. See Note 4 - Acquisitions in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements, included elsewhere in this Annual Report, for further detail. In addition to the transaction costs of $13.5 million to effect the close of the transaction, recognized during the year ended September 30, 2022, the Company has incurred incremental costs to combine and integrate the acquired business with the HPC segment, primarily towards the integration of systems and processes, merger of commercial operations and supply chain, professional fees to facilitate in the consolidation of financial records, plus incremental retention costs for personnel supporting the transition and integration efforts. Costs attributable to the integration of the Tristar Business were initiated with the close of the transaction and were substantial complete and recognized as of September 30, 2023.
•Rejuvenate Acquisition - During the year ended September 30, 2021, on May 28, 2021, the Company acquired 100% of the membership interests in For Life Products, LLC ("FLP"), a manufacturer of household cleaning, maintenance, and restoration products sold under the Rejuvenate® brand. The net assets and operating results of FLP are included in the Consolidated Financial Statements and reported within the H&G reporting segment as of and for the years ended September 30, 2023 and 2022. The Company has incurred incremental costs to combine and integrate the acquired business with the H&G segment, primarily towards the integration of systems and processes, transfer of inventory and integration to an existing H&G distribution center, retention costs for personnel supporting transition and integration efforts. Costs attributable to the integration of the Rejuvenate business were completed as of September 30, 2022.
•Armitage Acquisition - During the year ended September 30, 2021, on October 26, 2020, the Company completed the acquisition of Armitage Pet Care Ltd ("Armitage"), a pet treats and toys business in Nottingham, UK including a portfolio of brands that include the dog treats brand, Good Boy®, cat treats brand, Meowee!®, and Wildbird® bird feed products, among others, that are predominantly sold within the UK. The net assets and results of operations of Armitage are included in the Consolidated Financial Statements and reported within the GPC reporting segment as of and for the years ended September 30, 2023 and 2022. The Company has incurred incremental costs to combine and integrate the acquired business with the GPC segment, primarily towards the integration of systems and processes, transfer of inventory and integration to existing GPC supply chain and distribution centers within the EMEA region, plus retention costs for personnel supporting the transition and integration efforts. Costs attributable to the integration of the Armitage business were completed as of September 30, 2022.
•Coevorden Operations - During the year ended September 30, 2020, on March 29, 2020, the Company completed the sale of its dog and cat food ("DCF") production facility and distribution center in Coevorden, Netherlands with United Petfood Producers NV ("UPP"). Following the separation of the Coevorden Operations, the Company incurred incremental costs attributable to a tolling charge for the continued production of DCF products through a three-year manufacturing agreement with the buyer entered into concurrently with the sale, rent charges associated with the transferred warehouse operated by the Company during an 18-month transition period, plus costs to facilitate the transfer of the warehouse operations to the buyer and the movement of inventory and distribution center operations. Incremental costs attributable to the tolling arrangement were completed in March 2023.
•Omega Acquisition - During the year ended September 30, 2020, on March 10, 2020, the Company acquired Omega Sea, LLC ("Omega"), a manufacturer and marketer of premium fish foods and consumable goods for the home and commercial aquarium markets, primarily consisting of the Omega brand. The net assets and results of operations of Omega are included in the Consolidated Financial Statements and reported within GPC segment as of and for the years ended September 30, 2023 and 2022. The Company incurred incremental costs to combine and integrate the acquired business within the GPC segment, primarily towards the integration of systems and processes, transfer of inventory and production to an existing GPC facility, including related exit and disposal costs of the assumed leased facility, related start-up costs and operational inefficiencies attributable to the transferred production, plus retention costs for personnel supporting the transition and integration after the transaction date. Costs attributable to the integration of the Omega business were completed in the prior year.
The following is a summary of costs attributable to strategic transactions and business development costs for the respective projects during the years ended September 30, 2023 and 2022. In addition to the initiatives discussed above, the Company regularly engages in other business development initiatives that may incur incremental costs which may not result in a realized transaction or are less significant, and therefore have been separately disclosed and recognized as other project costs.
|Tristar Business acquisition and integration||$||11.5 ||$||24.3 |
|HHI divestiture and separation||8.4 ||6.3 |
|HPC separation initiatives||4.2 ||19.1 |
|Coevorden operations separation||2.7 ||8.8 |
|Rejuvenate acquisition and integration||— ||6.8 |
|Armitage acquisition and integration||— ||1.4 |
|Omega integration||— ||4.6 |
|Other project costs||0.7 ||1.0 |
|Total||$||27.5 ||$||72.3 |
|Net sales||$||— ||$||0.7 |
|Cost of goods sold||2.7 ||9.4 |
|General & administrative expense||24.8 ||57.9 |
|Other non-operating expense, net||— ||4.3 |
Restructuring and Optimization Initiatives
We continually seek and develop operating strategies to improve our operational efficiency, match our capacity and product costs to market demand and better utilize our manufacturing and distribution resources in order to reduce costs, increase revenues, and maintain or increase our current profit margins. We have undertaken various initiatives to reduce manufacturing and operating costs, which may have a significant impact on the comparability of financial results on the consolidated financial statements. These changes and updates are inherently difficult and are made even more difficult by current global economic conditions. Our ability to achieve the anticipated cost savings and other benefits from such operating strategies may be affected by a number of other macro-economic factors such as COVID-19, or inflation and increased interest rates, many of which are beyond our control. The following initiatives have been considered as having a significant impact on the comparability of the financial results on the consolidated financial statements and segment financial information.
•Fiscal 2023 Restructuring - During the year ended September 30, 2023, the Company entered into an initiative in response to the continuing pressures within the consumer products and retail markets and adjusted strategic initiatives within certain segments, resulting in the realization of further of headcount reductions. Substantially all costs associated with the initiative had been recognized any accrued as of September 30, 2023. See Note 5 - Restructuring Charges in Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements, included elsewhere in this Annual Report for further detail on related exit or disposal costs attributable to this initiative.
•Fiscal 2022 Restructuring - During the year ended September 30, 2022, the Company entered into a new initiative in response to changes observed within consumer products and retail markets, continued inflationary cost pressures and headwinds, resulting in the realization of a headcount reduction. Substantially all costs associated with the initiative had been recognized and accrued in the prior year with amounts during the year ended September 30, 2023 due to changes in estimates, headcounts and timing of communication. See Note 5 - Restructuring Charges in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report for further detail on related exit or disposal costs attributable to this initiative.
•Russia Closing Initiative - During the year ended September 30, 2022, the Company initiated the close of its in-country commercial operations in Russia, predominantly supporting the HPC segment. The Company has recognized impairment costs on working capital assets such as inventory and receivables that were not considered recoverable due to the restriction and suspension of commercial activity in Russia and has liquidated substantially all assets. The initiative is subject to exit and disposal costs for severance benefits of personnel associated with the operations, see Note 5 - Restructuring Charges in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report for further detail. Substantially all costs associated with the initiative has been recognized and accrued as of September 30, 2023.
•Global ERP Transformation - During the year ended September 30, 2021, the Company entered into a SAP S/4 HANA ERP transformation project to upgrade and implement our enterprise-wide operating systems to SAP S/4 HANA on a global basis. This is a multi-year project that includes various costs, including software configuration and implementation costs that would be recognized as either capital expenditures or deferred costs in accordance with applicable accounting policies, with certain costs recognized as operating expense associated with project development and project management costs, and professional services with business partners engaged towards planning, design and business process review that would not qualify as software configuration and implementation costs. The Company has substantially completed the build phase and initiated a pilot deployment during the year ended September 30, 2023 with subsequent deployments and updates planned during the following year. Costs are anticipated to be incurred with various deployments expected through September 30, 2025.
•HPC Brand Portfolio Transitions - During the year ended September 30, 2021, in response to the acquisition of the Tristar Business and the PowerXL® brand, the HPC segment initiated a project to assess and evaluate the current utilization of tradenames and brands across its portfolio of home and kitchen appliance products. The project included incremental costs to facilitate transitions of branded product offerings on global basis, including investment with our supply base and retail partners to manage inventory and transition new branded products to market. Costs attributable to the initiative were completed during the year ended September 30, 2023.
•GPC Distribution Transition - During the year ended September 30, 2021, the GPC segment entered into an initiative to update its supply chain and distribution operations within the U.S. to address capacity needs, optimize and improve fill rates attributable to recent growth in the business and consumer demand, and improve overall operational effectiveness and throughput. The initiative includes the transition of its third party logistics (3PL) service provider at its existing distribution center, incorporating new facilities into the distribution footprint by expanding warehouse capacity and securing additional space to support long-term distribution and fulfillment, plus updating engagement and processes with suppliers and its transportation and logistics handlers. Incremental costs include one-time transition, implementation and start-up cost with the new 3PL service provider, including the integration of provider systems and technology, incentive-based compensation to maintain performance during transition, duplicative and redundant costs, and incremental costs for various disruptions in the operations during the transition period including supplemental transportation and storage costs, incremental detention and demurrage costs. Additionally, the Company experienced an increase in customer fines and penalties during the transition period (recognized as a reduction in net sales). Costs attributable to the initiative were completed during the year ended September 30, 2022.
•Global Productivity Improvement Program - During the year ended September 30, 2019, the Company initiated a company-wide, multi-year program, consisting of various restructuring related initiatives to redirect resources and spending to drive growth, identify cost savings and pricing opportunities through standardization and optimization, develop organizational and operating optimization, and reduce overall operational complexity across the Company. With the Company’s divestitures of GBL and GAC during the year ended September 30, 2019, the project focus includes the transition of the Company’s continuing operations in a post-divestiture environment and exiting of TSAs, which were fully exited in January 2022. The initiative includes review of global processes and organization design and structures, headcount reductions and transfers, and rightsizing the Company’s shared operations and commercial business strategy and exit of certain internal production to third-party suppliers, among others, resulting in the recognition of severance benefits and other exit and disposal costs to facilitate such activity. Costs attributable to the initiative were completed during the year ended September 30, 2022.
The following is a summary of impacts to operating results attributable to restructuring initiatives and other optimization projects incurred for the respective projects during the years ended September 30, 2023 and 2022. In addition to the projects and initiatives discussed above, the Company regularly incurs costs and engages in less significant restructuring and optimization initiatives that individually are not substantial and occur over a shorter time period (generally less than 12 months).
|Fiscal 2023 restructuring||$||7.4 ||$||— |
|Fiscal 2022 restructuring||0.4 ||9.8 |
|Global ERP transformation||11.4 ||13.1 |
|Russia closing initiative||3.2 ||1.9 |
|HPC brand portfolio transitions||2.5 ||1.3 |
|GPC distribution center transition||— ||35.8 |
|Global productivity improvement program||— ||5.1 |
|Other project costs||10.5 ||11.1 |
|Total||$||35.4 ||$||78.1 |
|Net sales||$||— ||$||5.0 |
|Cost of goods sold||1.0 ||1.0 |
|Selling expense||— ||31.3 |
|General & administrative expense||34.4 ||40.8 |
The following recent financing activity has a significant impact on the comparability of financial results on the consolidated financial statements.
•During the year ended September 30, 2023, following the close of the HHI divestiture, the Company repaid its outstanding term loan and all outstanding borrowings with the Revolver Facility under the Credit Agreement, and terminated the Incremental Revolving Credit Facility Tranche, along with the remaining $450.0 million aggregate principal amount of 5.750% Senior Notes due 2025 in full at the redemption price. The Company recognized $10.8 million as interest expense for the year ended September 30, 2023 from the write-down of deferred financing costs and original issuance discount.
•During the year ended September 30, 2023, the Company repurchased of $61.4 million of its outstanding bonds resulting in the early extinguishment of the debt and the recognition of a gain from debt repurchases of $7.9 million for the year ended September 30, 2023
•Additionally, during the year ended September 30, 2023, and prior to the closing of the HHI divestiture, the Company entered into the fourth amendment to the Credit Agreement to temporarily increase the maximum consolidated total net leverage ratio permitted to be no greater than 7.0 to 1.0 before returning to 6.0 to 1.0 at the earliest of (i) September 29, 2023, or (ii) 10 business days after the closing of the HHI divestiture or receipt of the related termination fee. Following the close of the HHI divestiture, the maximum consolidated total net leverage ratio was reverted to 6.0 to 1.0. The Company incurred $2.3 million in connection with the fourth amendment, which has been recognized as interest expense for the year ended September 30, 2023.
•During the year ended September 30, 2022, the Company entered into the third amendment to the Amended and Restated Credit Agreement (the "Credit Agreement") that provided incremental capacity on the Revolver Facility of $500 million that was used to support the acquisition of the Tristar Business and the continuing operations and working capital requirements of the Company. Borrowings under the incremental capacity are subject to a borrowing rate which is subject to SOFR plus margin ranging from 1.75% to 2.75%, per annum or base rate plus margin ranging from 0.75% to 1.75% per annum, with an increase by 25 basis points 270 days after the effective date of the third amendment and an additional 25 basis points on each 90 day anniversary of such date. Outstanding borrowings under the incremental capacity were paid down and the Incremental Revolving Credit Facility Tranche was terminated following the close of the HHI divestiture.
See Note 12 - Debt in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements, included elsewhere in this Annual Report for additional detail regarding debt and refinancing activity.
Tristar Business Acquisition
Following the purchase of the Tristar Business in February 2022, the Company and its HPC segment have been detrimentally impacted by aspects of the acquired business’ operations and products, which have negatively impacted subsequent operating performance and partner relationships of the acquired brands and segment. Since the acquisition, the acquired business realized, among other things, significant distribution challenges, increased levels of retail inventory, reduced sales, increased promotional spending and deductions, higher level of returns, and overall increased amount of costs. Additionally, the segment has subsequently realized unusual losses attributable to the recognition of product recalls for products associated with the brands, increased risks over the realizability of receivables and inventory, and recognized an impairment on assets including the acquired goodwill and tradename intangible assets. Most recently the Company disposed of certain inventory and products associated with the acquired brands after assessing, among other things, performance and quality standards. As of September 30, 2023, the Company believes it has assessed appropriate risks and recognized applicable losses and reserves reflecting the net assets of the Company. The Company is pursuing avenues to remediate and recover such damages and losses realized since the acquisition.
The impacts of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the sanctions imposed in response to the conflict may have an impact on the Company's consolidated operations and cash flow attributable to operations and distribution within the region. The Company does not maintain a significant level of operations within Ukraine and initiated the closing of its in-country commercial operations within Russia to reduce the relative risk and exposure within the region.
Inflation and Supply Chain Constraints
The Company has experienced an inflationary environment on a global basis in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain constraints such as increased labor shortages, increased freight and distribution costs from transportation and logistics, higher commodity costs, rising energy pricing, and foreign currency volatility. Together with labor shortages and higher demand for talent, the current economic environment is driving higher wages. Our ability to meet labor needs, control wage and labor-related costs and minimize labor disruptions will be key to our success of operating our business and executing our business strategies. In response to inflation, our segments have taken pricing actions to address rising costs and foreign currency fluctuations to mitigate impacts to our margins. While we have seen more stability in the recent economic environment, we are unable to predict how long the current inflationary environment will continue and we expect the economic environment to remain uncertain as we navigate the current geopolitical environment, post-pandemic volatility, labor challenges, changes in supply chain and the overall current economic environment.
Our consolidated and segment results contain non-GAAP metrics such as organic net sales and Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization). While we believe organic net sales and Adjusted EBITDA are useful supplemental information, such adjusted results are not intended to replace our financial results in accordance with Accounting Principles Generally Accepted in the United States (“GAAP”) and should be read in conjunction with those GAAP results.
Organic Net Sales. We define organic net sales as net sales excluding the effect of changes in foreign currency exchange rates and/or impact from acquisitions (where applicable). We believe this non-GAAP measure provides useful information to investors because it reflects regional and operating segment performance from our activities without the effect of changes in currency exchange rates and acquisitions. We use organic net sales as one measure to monitor and evaluate our regional and segment performance. Organic growth is calculated by comparing organic net sales to net sales in the prior year. The effect of changes in currency exchange rates is determined by translating the current period net sales using the currency exchange rates that were in effect during the prior comparative period. Net sales are attributed to the geographic regions based on the country of destination. We exclude net sales from acquired businesses in the current year for which there are no comparable sales in the prior period.
The following is a reconciliation of net sales to organic net sales of SBH and SB/RH for the year ended September 30, 2023 compared to net sales for the year ended September 30, 2022:
|September 30, 2023||Net Sales September 30, 2022|
|(in millions, except %)|
Effect of Changes in Currency
Net Sales Excluding Effect of Changes in Currency
Effect of Acquisitions
|GPC||$||1,139.0 ||$||14.1 ||$||1,153.1 ||$||— ||$||1,153.1 ||$||1,175.3 ||$||(22.2)||(1.9 ||%)|
|H&G||536.5 ||— ||536.5 ||— ||536.5 ||587.1 ||(50.6)||(8.6 ||%)|
|HPC||1,243.3 ||36.9 ||1,280.2 ||(89.9)||1,190.3 ||1,370.1 ||(179.8)||(13.1 ||%)|
|Total||$||2,918.8 ||$||51.0 ||$||2,969.8 ||$||(89.9)||$||2,879.9 ||$||3,132.5 ||(252.6)||(8.1 ||%)|
Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Margin. Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Margin are non-GAAP metric used by management, which we believe provide useful information to investors because they reflect the ongoing operating performance and trends of our segments, excluding certain non-cash based expenses and/or non-recurring items during each of the comparable periods. They also facilitate comparisons between peer companies since interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization can differ greatly between organizations as a result of differing capital structures and tax strategies. Adjusted EBITDA is also used for determining compliance with the Company’s debt covenants. See Note 12 - Debt in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report for additional detail.
EBITDA is calculated by excluding the Company’s income tax expense, interest expense, depreciation expense and amortization expense (from intangible assets) from net income. Adjusted EBITDA further excludes:
•Share based compensation costs consist of costs associated with long-term compensation arrangements that generally consist of non-cash, stock-based compensation. See Note 18 - Share Based Compensation in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements, included elsewhere in this Annual Report, for further details;
•Incremental amounts attributable to strategic transactions and business development initiatives including, but not limited to, the acquisition or divestitures of a business, costs to effect and facilitate a transaction, including such cost to integrate or separate the respective business. These amounts are excluded from our performance metrics as they are reflective of incremental investment by the Company towards business development activities, incremental costs attributable to such transactions and are not considered recurring or reflective of the continuing ongoing operations of the consolidated group or segments;
•Incremental amounts realized towards restructuring and optimization projects including, but not limited to, costs towards the development and implementation of strategies to optimize operations and improve efficiency, reduce costs, increase revenues, increase or maintain our current profit margins, including recognition of one-time exit or disposal costs. These amounts are excluded from our ongoing performance metrics as they are reflective of incremental investment by the Company towards significant initiatives controlled by management, incremental costs directly attributable to such initiatives, indirect impact or disruption to operating performance during implementation, and are not considered recurring or reflective of the continuing ongoing operations of the consolidated group or segments;
•Unallocated shared costs associated with discontinued operations from certain shared and center-led administrative functions the Company's business units excluded from income from discontinued operations as they are not a direct cost of the discontinued business but a result of indirect allocations, including but not limited to, information technology, human resources, finance and accounting, supply chain, and commercial operations. Amounts attributable to unallocated shared costs would be mitigated through subsequent strategic or restructuring initiatives, TSAs, elimination of extraneous costs, or re-allocations or absorption of existing continuing operations following the completed sale of the discontinued operations. See Note 3 – Divestitures in Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements, included elsewhere in this Annual Report for further details;
•Non-cash purchase accounting adjustments recognized in earnings from continuing operations subsequent to an acquisition, including, but not limited to, the costs attributable to the step-up in inventory value and the incremental val