Cornell Capital has acquired World Kitchen, a Rosemont, Ill.-based maker of housewares under the Pyrex and CorningWare brands. No financial terms were disclosed, but the FT reports a purchase price north of $500 million and that Cornell will use World Kitchen as an acquisition platform with an eye on expanding further into the Asia housewares market.
Why it's a big deal: Because this is a company that just refuses to die. World Kitchen originally became independent as a byproduct of the 1990s asbestos litigation against former parent company Corning, agreeing to be acquired by KKR in 1998. That deal was a bust, however, with World Kitchen filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy six years later. Creditors like Oaktree Capital Management have been in control ever since, and last April agreed to sell the company to Brazil's GP Investimentos for $566 million ― but GP scrapped the deal in November.
Bottom line: "Although far from the multibillion-dollar transactions that are the focus of the big listed buyout groups the purchase shows that even seemingly boring brands can offer great potential. For example, despite changing times, Pyrex is at present the most popular product on department store Macy's bridal registry." ― Financial Times