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MVP Group to acquire Midwest-CBK by end of May

Current executive team to remain

Blyth Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to sell Midwest-CBK, its seasonal decorations, candle and home decor division, to MVP Group International, a Charleston-based manufacturer of candles and home fragrance products.

The deal for Midwest-CBK, whose key brands include Colonial Candle, Seasons of Cannon Falls and CBK, is expected to close before May 31. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Since Blyth is a public company, further financial details may be available after the closing. MVP is privately held.

Midwest-CBK president Rick Contino said his relationship to MVP goes back to when parent company Blyth sold its mass candle business to the company. "When [Blythe] sold them the business, they still ended up being a customer of mine for the candle plant," Contino said. "So I have known them for three years. As part of our family, they have seen how successful we are in our market and wanted to be more seriously invested."

MVP plans to keep everything business as usual at Midwest-CBK, Contino said. "Basically they've said we like what you're doing and we just want to keep doing it the way you're doing it now."

Midwest-CBK will maintain its separate headquarters, sales team, showrooms, etc., as well as its executives. MVP has no plans to expand its mass brands into the specialty market or to take Midwest-CBK's specialty brands into the mass channel.

"As Blyth's focus is on the Direct-to-Consumer channels, Midwest-CBK has become less of a strategic fit going forward," said Robert B. Goergen, Blyth's chairman of the board and CEO. "Thus, when conversations arose with a strong and growing company interested in increasing its premium channel presence and manufacturing capabilities, we were receptive to a dialogue."

MVP Group International designs, manufactures and markets an extensive line of candles and home fragrance products including scented candles, potpourri and other fragrance products, and markets a broad range of related candle accessories through multiple channels of distribution.

"Midwest-CBK and MVP Group International are an excellent strategic fit for each other," said Mary Propes, CEO of MVP Group International. "The strength of MVP's core competency of global sourcing and its focused approach towards strategic marketing and branding initiatives will benefit our growth objectives, whereas the Midwest-CBK innovative design and development team and large, established customer base will further an overall growth strategy in the premium channel in branded candles, seasonal decorative accessories, decor and giftware."

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