Bear Stearns and JPMorgan are expected to hold a meeting today in New York to launch syndication of a $480 million credit backing M&F Worldwide Corp.'s $800 million acquisition of Clarke American from Honeywell. The credit comprises a $40 million revolver and a $440 million term loan "B." Pricing has not been determined. With the agreement, M&F will acquire all of the stock of Novar USA, the parent company of the security printing services (SPS) business operated by Clarke American, along with related companies including Checks in the Mail, B2Direct and Alcott Routon.
This is the second of two non-core businesses sold by Honeywell that were part of the Novar acquisition. In September, it entered into a definite agreement to sell Indalex Aluminum Solutions (IAS). Honeywell completed its acquisition of Novar, which included SPS, IAS and Intelligent Building Systems (IBS) on March 31, 2005 and immediately announced its plants to sell IAS and SPS within a year.
"We said from the time we announced the [Novar] deal that we would integrate the IBS business into our automation and controls business because it was a good fit -- security and safety systems primarily in Europe," said a Honeywell spokesman. "The other two businesses are great businesses, but they don't fit our business portfolio. We had plans to sell those two businesses within a year of the close of Novar, March 31, so that is the rational for it." He would not comment on whether there were other bidders or how the two companies connected.
Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, Clarke American provides check and check-related products and services to financial institutions, businesses and consumers in the U.S. M&F Worldwide is a holding company, which through its wholly owned subsidiary, Mafco Worldwide Corp., produces licorice extracts and other natural botanical products. Calls to Mafco and Clarke American were not returned.