Attached files

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EX-32.1 - SECTION 906 CEO CERTIFICATION - SBH - Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.spb-20170930xex32_1.htm
EX-32.4 - SECTION 906 CFO CERTIFICATION - SBRH - Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.spb-20170930xex32_4.htm
EX-32.3 - SECTION 906 CEO CERTIFICATION - SBRH - Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.spb-20170930xex32_3.htm
EX-32.2 - SECTION 906 CFO CERTIFICATION - SBH - Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.spb-20170930xex32_2.htm
EX-31.4 - SECTION 302 CFO CERTIFICATION - SBRH - Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.spb-20170930xex31_4.htm
EX-31.3 - SECTION 302 CEO CERTIFICATION - SBRH - Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.spb-20170930xex31_3.htm
EX-31.2 - SECTION 302 CFO CERTIFICATION - SBH - Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.spb-20170930xex31_2.htm
EX-31.1 - SECTION 302 CEO CERTIFICATION - SBH - Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.spb-20170930xex31_1.htm
EX-23.1 - CONSENT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM - Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.spb-20170930xex23_1.htm
EX-21.1 - SUBSIDIARIES OF REGISTRANT - Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.spb-20170930xex21_1.htm

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549





FORM 10-K







 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2017





OR









 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from __________ to ___________

 

 

 

Picture 2











 

 

 

 

Commission File No.

 

Name of Registrant, State of Incorporation,

Address of Principal Offices, and Telephone No.

 

IRS Employer Identification No.



 

 

 

 

001-34757

 

Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.

(a Delaware corporation)

3001 Deming Way

Middleton, WI 53562

(608) 275-3340

www.spectrumbrands.com

 

 

 

27-2166630

333-192634-03

 

SB/RH Holdings, LLC

(a Delaware limited liability company)

3001 Deming Way

Middleton, WI 53562

(608) 275-3340

 

 

 

27-2812840

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

1

 


 

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

No

 



SB/RH Holdings, LLC

Yes

No

 



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

No

 



SB/RH Holdings, LLC

Yes

No

 



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

No

 



SB/RH Holdings, LLC

Yes

No

 



Indicate by check mark whether the registrants have submitted electronically and posted on their corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted 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 and post such files).



 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 



Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.

Yes

No

 



SB/RH Holdings, LLC

Yes

No

 



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, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Registrant

 

Large Accelerated Filer

 

Accelerated filer

 

Non-accelerated filer

 

Smaller reporting company

Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

SB/RH Holdings, LLC

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 



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

No

 



SB/RH Holdings, LLC

Yes

No

 



Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is an emerging growth company as defined in Rule 405 of the securities Act of 1933 (§232.405 of this chapter) or Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (§240.12b-2 of this chapter).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 



Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.

Yes

No

 



SB/RH Holdings, LLC

Yes

No

 



If an emerging growth company, indicate by checkmark 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 31(a) of the Exchange Act.





Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.

 



SB/RH Holdings, LLC

 



The aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. was approximately $3,333,769,931 based upon the closing price on the last business day of the registrant's most recently completed second fiscal quarter (April 2, 2017). As of November 14, 2017, there were outstanding 57,626,070 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 definitive proxy statement to be filed within 120 days of September 30, 2017 are incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K in response to Part III, Items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14.



2

 


 

SPECTRUM BRANDS HOLDINGS, INC.

SB/RH HOLDINGS, LLC

TABLE OF CONTENTS



 

 



 

Page

PART I

ITEM 1.

BUSINESS

ITEM 1A.

RISK FACTORS

17 

ITEM 1B.

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

33 

ITEM 2.

PROPERTIES

34 

ITEM 3.

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

36 

ITEM 4.

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

36 

PART II

ITEM 5.

MARKET FOR THE REGISTRANTS’ COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

37 

ITEM 6.

SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

39 

ITEM7

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

41 

ITEM 7A.

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

61 

ITEM 8.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

62 

ITEM 9.

CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

62 

ITEM 9A.

CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

62 

ITEM 9B.

OTHER INFORMATION

64 

PART III

ITEM10

DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

65 

ITEM 11.

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

65 

ITEM 12.

SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

65 

ITEM 13.

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE

66 

ITEM 14.

PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTING FEES AND SERVICES

66 

PART IV

ITEM 15.

EXHIBITS, FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SCHEDULES

67 



INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULE

68 



SIGNATURES

124 



EXHIBIT INDEX

126 



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Forward-Looking Statements



We have made or implied certain forward-looking statements in this report. All statements, other than statements of historical facts included in this report, including the statements under Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations regarding our business strategy, future operations, financial condition, estimated revenues, projected costs, projected synergies, prospects, plans and objectives of management, as well as information concerning expected actions of third parties, are forward-looking statements. When used in this report, the words  anticipate,  intend,  plan,  estimate,  believe,  expect,  project,  could,  will,  should,  may and similar expressions are also 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 undue reliance should not be placed on these statements. Important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied herein include, without limitation:



·

the impact of our indebtedness 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 impact of actions taken by significant stockholders;

·

the impact of fluctuations in commodity prices, costs or availability of raw materials or terms and conditions available from suppliers, including suppliers’ willingness to advance credit;

·

interest rate and exchange rate fluctuations;

·

the loss of, significant reduction in, or dependence upon, sales to any significant retail customer(s);

·

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;

·

the effects of general economic conditions, including inflation, recession or fears of a recession, depression or fears of a depression, labor costs and stock market volatility or changes in trade, monetary or fiscal policies in the countries where we do business;

·

changes in consumer spending preferences and demand for our products;

·

our ability to develop and successfully introduce new products, protect our intellectual property and avoid infringing the intellectual property of third parties;

·

our ability to successfully implement, achieve and sustain manufacturing and distribution cost efficiencies and improvements, and fully realize anticipated cost savings;

·

the seasonal nature of sales of certain of our products;

·

the effects of climate change and unusual weather activity;

·

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 pending or threatened litigation;

·

the impact of cybersecurity breaches or our actual or perceived failure to protect company and personal data;

·

changes in accounting policies applicable to our business;

·

our ability to utilize our net operating loss carry-forwards to offset tax liabilities from future taxable income;

·

government regulations;

·

the impact of expenses resulting from the implementation of new business strategies, divestitures or current and proposed restructuring activities;

·

our inability to successfully integrate and operate new acquisitions at the level of financial performance anticipated;

·

the unanticipated loss of key members of senior management;

·

the effects of political or economic conditions, terrorist attacks, acts of war or other unrest in international markets; and

·

the special committee’s exploration of strategic alternatives and the terms of any strategic transaction, if any.



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 United States (“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.

4

 


 

PART I



ITEM 1. BUSINESS



This combined Form 10-K is being filed separately 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 a majority of its 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. The terms “SBH” and “SB/RH” refer to Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. and SB/RH Holdings, LLC, respectively.



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. You may read and copy any materials we file with the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549. You may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. 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—Corporate Governance.” Copies will also be provided to any stockholder upon written request to the Vice President, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, Spectrum Brands, Inc. at 3001 Deming Way, Middleton, Wisconsin 53562 or via electronic mail at investorrelations@spectrumbrands.com, or by contacting the Vice President, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications by telephone at (608) 275-3340.



General



We are a diversified global branded consumer products company. The Company manufactures, markets and/or distributes its products in approximately 160 countries 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, original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”), construction companies and hearing aid professionals. We enjoy strong name recognition in our regions under our various brands and patented technologies across multiple product categories. We manage the business in five vertically integrated, product-focused segments: (i) Global Batteries & Appliances (“GBA”), (ii) Hardware & Home Improvement (“HHI”), (iii) Global Pet Supplies (“PET”), (iv) Home and Garden (“H&G”) and (v) Global Auto Care (“GAC”). 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 following is an overview of the consolidated business showing the net sales by segment and geographic region sold (based upon destination) as a percentage of consolidated net sales for the year ended September 30, 2017:

Picture 1Picture 6

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.

5

 


 

Our Strategy



Our mission is to achieve superior shareholder returns through above-market organic growth, with a focus on building sustainable free cash flow and further acquisitions. Our vision is to be the preferred strategic partner to our customers with an expanding portfolio of innovative and superior-value consumer products and brands. We believe that building loyalty and success over the long-term is fundamental to executing on this strategy. To transition to the next performance level and deliver long-term value to our key stakeholders, we will seek to realize our vision by pursuing the “Spectrum First” growth strategy across all of our divisions and regions.



Picture 5





The Spectrum First growth accelerators - Customer,  Process, and People - provide the roadmap for how we intend to execute this strategy. Each growth accelerator has three drivers. These accelerators and their respective drivers are collectively known as the “Spectrum First 3x3.”



·

Customer – Our first growth accelerator focuses on strengthening strategic partnerships with customers. Our objective is for our retail partners to think of Spectrum Brands first when identifying how best to compete for consumers’ attention to bring them into their stores and online platforms with exciting product innovation, converting interest to sales through value products, and being a strategic supplier through total-cost reduction initiatives.



·

Process – Our process growth accelerator is intended to drive continuous improvements in our products, costs and processes to generate healthy margins through sales growth with our “more-more-more” strategy to achieve above-market sales growth, which means entering into more countries, serving more channels and launching more categories. We also seek to drive continuous improvement over performance, quality and costs, and provide superior and efficient services through our shared services and “Centers of Excellence” model.



·

People – Employees represent the third Spectrum First growth accelerator. We are working to be a preferred employer by empowering our teams and providing long-term career opportunities and pay-for-performance through focusing on retention and collaboration; driving empowered teams with trust, competence and speed; supporting alignment and providing more paths for employees to embrace new challenges and advance their careers across the global organization.



6

 


 

Global Batteries and Appliances (GBA)



The following is an overview of GBA net sales by product category and geographic region sold (based upon destination) as a percentage of net sales for the segment for the year ended September 30, 2017:



Picture 7Picture 9

The consumer batteries product category consists of alkaline batteries, zinc carbon batteries, nickel metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries and battery chargers primarily under the Rayovac® and VARTA® brands. Additionally, we manufacture alkaline batteries for third parties who sell under their own private labels. We also offer a broad line of battery-powered portable lighting products including flashlights and lanterns under the Rayovac® and VARTA® brands, and other proprietary brand names pursuant to licensing arrangements with third parties. We manufacture and sell hearing aid batteries under several brand names and private labels for many major hearing aid device manufacturers. Other specialty battery products include keyless entry batteries, portable chargers and coin cells for use in watches, cameras, calculators, communications equipment, and medical instruments.



The small appliances product category consists of small kitchen appliances under the Black & Decker®, Russell Hobbs®, George Foreman®, Juiceman® and Breadman® brands, including toaster ovens, toasters, sandwich makers, coffeemakers, coffee grinders, can openers, electric knives, grills, deep fryers, food choppers, food processors, slow cookers, hand mixers, blenders, juicers, bread makers, kettles, rice cookers and steamers. We also sell small home product appliances, including hand-held irons and vacuum cleaners, primarily under the Black & Decker® and Russell Hobbs® brands.



The personal care product category includes a broad line of electric shaving and grooming products under the Remington® brand name, including men’s rotary and foil shavers, beard and mustache trimmers, body groomers, nose and ear trimmers, women’s shavers, haircut kits and intense pulsed light hair removal systems. Other personal care products include hand-held dryers, curling irons, straightening irons, straightening brushes, hair setters, and facial brushes.



We manage our GBA sales teams by geographic region and product category. We sell 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. We maintain separate sales teams to service (i) our retail sales and distribution channels; (ii) our hearing aid professionals channel; and (iii) our industrial distributors and OEM sales and distribution channel. International distribution varies by region and is often executed on a country-by-country basis. We utilize a network of independent brokers to service participants in selected distribution channels. 



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 segment’s operating results.

7

 


 

Hardware and Home Improvement (HHI)



The following is an overview of HHI net sales by product category and geographic region sold (based upon destination) as a percentage of net sales for the segment for the year ended September 30, 2017:



Picture 16Picture 34

The security product category includes a broad range of locksets and door hardware including knobs, levers, deadbolts and handle sets sold under four main brands: (i) Kwikset®, residential door hardware sold primarily in the U.S.; (ii) Weiser®, residential door hardware sold primarily in Canada; (iii) Baldwin®, luxury residential door hardware sold primarily in the U.S.; and (iv) Tell®, commercial doors and hardware sold primarily in the U.S. Our residential lockset products incorporate patented SmartKey® technology that provides advanced security and easy rekeying. The security segment also includes electronic and connected locks allowing customers more convenience and protection including remote security features as part of many home automation solutions. We also supply product to some customers who have private label offerings.



The plumbing product category includes kitchen and bath faucets and accessories under the Pfister® brand, which delivers best in class designs at a value. Pfister® offers a wide range of styles and finishes to meet a variety of consumer, plumber and builder needs.



The hardware product category includes a broad range of products such as hinges, metal shapes, security hardware, track and sliding door hardware and gate hardware sold primarily under the National Hardware® brand in the U.S. We also sell some products under the Stanley® brand subject to a licensing arrangement.



The sales force of the HHI business is aligned by brands, customers and geographic regions. We have strong partnerships with a variety of customers including large home improvement centers, wholesale distributors, home builders, plumbers, home automation providers, and commercial contractors.



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 segment’s operating results.

8

 


 

Global Pet Supplies (PET)



The following is an overview of PET net sales by product category and geographic region sold (based upon destination) as a percentage of net sales for the segment for the year ended September 30, 2017:



Picture 28Picture 29

The aquatics product category includes a broad line of products, including fully integrated 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. Our largest aquatics brands are Tetra®, Marineland® and Instant Ocean®. On May 12, 2017, we entered into an asset purchase agreement with Yorktown Technologies LP, for the acquisition of assets consisting of the GloFish operation, including transfer of the GloFish® brand, its related intellectual property and operating agreements. The GloFish operations consist of the development and licensing of multiple species and color combinations of fluorescent fish sold through retail and online channels. 



The companion animal product category includes a variety of specialty pet products, including rawhide chews, dog and cat clean-up, training, health and grooming products, and small animal food and care products. Our largest specialty pet brands include Dingo®, FURminator®, Nature’s Miracle®, Wild Harvest®, 8-in-1®, Littermaid® and Healthy-Hide®, marketed across the Good’n’Fun®, and Good’n’Tasty® family of brands. On June 1, 2017, we acquired PetMatrix LLC, a manufacturer and marketer of rawhide-free dog chews consisting primarily of the DreamBone® and SmartBones® brands. PetMatrix will provide the segment with complementary product offerings, as well as entrance into an expanding business of raw-hide free treats in the product category. The product category also includes wet and dry pet food for dogs and cats under the IAMS®, Eukanuba® and 8-in-1® brand names in European markets 



We sell primarily to pet superstores, mass merchandisers, e-tailers, grocery stores and drug chains, warehouse clubs and other specialty retailers. International distribution varies by region and is often executed on a country-by-country basis.



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 segment’s operating results.

9

 


 

Home and Garden (H&G)



The following is an overview of H&G net sales by product category and geographic region sold (based upon destination) as a percentage of net sales for the segment for the year ended September 30, 2017:

Picture 30Picture 31

The controls product category includes a variety of outdoor insect and weed control solutions, and animal repellents under the brand names Spectracide®, Black Flag®, Garden Safe®, EcoLogic® and Liquid Fence®.  Our lines of outdoor control solutions are designed to assist consumers in controlling insects, weeds and animals when tackling lawn and landscaping projects. Our outdoor products are available as aerosols, granules, ready-to-use sprays or hose-end ready-to-sprays designed to fulfill a variety of consumer needs.



The household product category includes a broad array of household pest control solutions, such as spider and scorpion killers; ant and roach killers; flying insect killers; insect foggers; wasp and hornet killers; bedbug, flea and tick control products; and roach and ant baits. Our largest brands in the household insect control and rodenticide category are Hot Shot® and Black Flag®.



The repellents product category includes personal-use pesticides for protection from various outdoor nuisance pests, especially mosquitoes. These products include both personal repellents in a variety of formulas to meet consumer needs, such as aerosols, lotions, pump sprays and wipes, as well as area repellents, such as yard sprays and citronella candles to allow consumers to enjoy the outdoors without bothersome pests. Our brands in the insect repellents category are Cutter® and Repel®.



We sell primarily to home improvement centers, mass merchandisers, dollar stores, hardware stores, home and garden distributors, and food and drug retailers, primarily in the U.S.



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 segment’s operating results.

10

 


 

Global Auto Care (GAC)



The following is an overview of GAC net sales by product category and geographic region sold (based upon destination) as a percentage of net sales for the segment for the year ended September 30, 2017:

Picture 8 Picture 33

The appearance product category includes protectants, wipes, tire and wheel care products, glass cleaners, leather care products, air fresheners and washes designed to clean, shine, refresh and protect interior and exterior automobile surfaces under the brand name Armor All®. Armor All® is a leader in the automotive aftermarket appearance products category based upon its recognized brand name, convenient application methods and product innovation.



The performance product category includes STP® branded fuel and oil additives, functional fluids and automotive appearance products that benefit from a rich heritage in the car enthusiast and racing scenes, characterized by a commitment to technology, performance and motor sports partnerships for over 60 years. The strong brand equity of STP® also provides for attractive licensing opportunities that augment our presence in our core performance categories.



The A/C recharge product category includes do-it-yourself automotive air conditioner recharge products under the A/C PRO® brand name, along with other refrigerant and oil recharge kits, sealants and accessories.



The GAC business sales force is geographically aligned with key customers and supply chains. We sell primarily to big-box auto, auto specialty retail, mass retailers, food and drug retailers, and small regional and convenience store retailers. Our small regional and convenience store customers are serviced by brokers and distributors. International distribution varies by region and is often executed on a country-by-country basis.



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 segment’s operating results.

11

 


 

Other Information



Sales, Distribution and Competition



We sell our products through a variety of trade channels, including retailers, e-commerce and online retailers, wholesalers and distributors, hearing aid professionals, construction companies and OEMs. Our sales generally are made through the use of individual purchase orders, consistent with industry practice. Retail sales of the consumer products we market have been increasingly consolidated on a worldwide basis into a small number of regional and national mass merchandisers and e-commerce companies that generally have strong negotiating power with their suppliers. A significant percentage of our sales are attributable to a limited group of retailer customers, including (in alphabetical order), Amazon, Autozone, Dollar General, Lidl, Lowe’s, PetSmart, O’Reilly, Target, The Home Depot, and Wal-Mart. Our sales to our largest customer, Wal-Mart, represented approximately 15% of our consolidated net sales for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2017. No other customer accounted for more than 10% of our consolidated net sales in the fiscal year ended September 30, 2017.



Factors influencing product sales include brand name recognition, perceived quality, price, performance, product packaging, design innovation, and consumer confidence and preferences as well as creative marketing, promotion and distribution strategies. We compete for limited shelf space and consumer acceptance based on location and product segment. We also compete with our retail customers, who use their own private label brands, and with distributors and foreign manufacturers of unbranded products, typically at lower prices. The Company addresses competitive challenges with the following factors:

·

Strong Diversified Global Brand Portfolio. We have a global portfolio of well-recognized consumer product brands. We believe that the strength of our brands positions us to extend our product lines and provide our retail customers with strong sell-through to consumers.

·

Strong Global Retail Relationships. We have well-established business relationships with many of the top global retailers, distributors and wholesalers, which have assisted us in our efforts to expand our overall market penetration and promote sales.

·

Expansive Distribution Network. We distribute our products in approximately 160 countries through a variety of trade channels, including retailers, wholesalers and distributors, hearing aid professionals, construction companies and OEMs.

·

Innovative New Products, Packaging and Technologies. We have a long history of product and packaging innovations in each of our product categories and continually seek to introduce new products both as extensions of existing product lines and as new product categories.

·

Experienced Management Team. Our management team has substantial consumer products experience. On average, each senior management team member has more than 20 years of experience at Spectrum Brands, VARTA, Remington, Russell Hobbs or other branded consumer product companies such as Newell Brands and Honeywell.



Within GBA, primary competitors for consumer batteries include Energizer Holdings, Inc. (Energizer), Berkshire Hathaway (Duracell), Montana Tech Components AG (PowerOne), Matsushita (Panasonic) and private label brands of major retailers. Primary competitors for small 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), Koninklijke Philips N.V. (Philips), Glen Dimplex (Morphy Richards) and private label brands for major retailers. Primary competitors in personal care include are Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. (Norelco), The Procter & Gamble Company (Braun), Conair Corporation, Wahl Clipper Corporation and Helen of Troy Limited.



Within HHI, primary competitors in security and residential locksets include Allegion (Schlage), Assa Abloy (Emtek, Yale) and private label import brands such as Defiant. Primary competitors for hardware include The Hillman Group, Hampton Hardware and private labels such as Crown Bolt. Primary competitors for plumbing include Masco (Delta), Fortune Brands (Moen), Kohler, American Standard and private label brands such as Glacier Bay.



Primary competitors in PET are Mars Corporation, the Hartz Mountain Corporation and Central Garden & Pet Company which all sell a comprehensive line of pet supplies that compete across our product categories. The pet supplies product category is highly fragmented with no competitor holding a substantial market share and consists of small companies with limited product lines.



Primary competitors in H&G are The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (Scotts, Ortho, Roundup, Miracle-Gro, Tomcat); Central Garden & Pet (AMDRO, Sevin), Bayer A.G. (Bayer Advanced), S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. (Raid, OFF!); and Henkel AG & Co. KGaA (Combat).



Within GAC, primary competitors for appearance products are Meguiars, Turtle Wax, Black Magic, Mothers, and private label brands. Primary competitors in performance chemical products include Lucas, Gumout, Chevron, Prestone, and private label brands. Primary competitors for A/C recharge products primarily consist of private label brands. We also encounter competition from similar and alternative products, many of which are produced and marketed by major multinational or national companies such as Mothers, Meguiars, Lucas, and Sea Foam.

12

 


 

Seasonality



On a consolidated basis our financial results are approximately equally weighted across our quarters, however, sales of certain product categories tend to be seasonal. Sales in our GBA segment, primarily from consumer battery and electric personal care product categories tend to increase during the December holiday season (the Company’s first fiscal quarter), while small appliances sales 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 fourth fiscal quarter) and in December for the holiday season. Sales in our HHI segment primarily increase during the spring and summer construction period (the Company’s third and fourth fiscal quarters). Sales in our PET segment remain fairly consistent throughout the year with little variation. Sales in our H&G segment and GAC segment typically peak during the first six months of the calendar year (the Company’s second and third fiscal quarters) due to customer seasonal purchasing patterns and timing of promotional activities. Our sales by quarter as a percentage of annual net sales during the years ended September 30, 2017, 2016 and 2015 are as follows:





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

First Quarter

 

 

24% 

 

 

24% 

 

 

23% 

Second Quarter

 

 

24% 

 

 

24% 

 

 

23% 

Third Quarter

 

 

26% 

 

 

27% 

 

 

26% 

Fourth Quarter

 

 

26% 

 

 

25% 

 

 

28% 



Manufacturing, Raw Materials and Suppliers



The principal raw materials used in manufacturing include zinc, electrolytic manganese dioxide used in our consumer batteries products; brass and steel used in our HHI products; and refrigerant R-134a used in our GAC A/C recharge products; that are sourced either on a global or regional basis. The prices of these raw materials are susceptible to fluctuations due to supply and demand trends, energy costs, transportation costs, government regulations and tariffs, changes in currency exchange rates, price controls, general economic conditions and other unforeseen circumstances. We have regularly engaged in forward purchase and hedging derivative transactions in an attempt to effectively manage certain raw material costs we expect to incur over the next 12 to 24 months.



Substantially all of our rechargeable batteries and chargers, portable lighting products, personal care and small appliances, and rawhide alternative products from our recent PetMatrix acquisition are manufactured by third party suppliers that are primarily located in the Asia-Pacific region. We maintain ownership of most of the tooling and molds used by our suppliers.



We continually evaluate our manufacturing facilities’ capacity and related utilization. As a result of such analyses, we have closed a number of manufacturing facilities during the past five years. In general, we believe our existing facilities are adequate for our present and foreseeable needs.



Patents and Trademarks



We use and maintain a number of patents, trademarks, brand names and trade names that are, in the aggregate, important to our businesses. We seek trademark protection in the U.S. and in foreign countries. The Company’s most significant registered trademarks are:





 

 

Segment

 

Trademarks

GBA

 

Rayovac®, VARTA®, Remington®, Black & Decker®, George Foreman®, Russell Hobbs®, Farberware®, Toastmaster®, Breadman®, Juiceman®

HHI

 

Kwikset®, Weiser®, Baldwin®, National Hardware®, Stanley®, Fanal®, Pfister®, Tell®

PET

 

Tetra®, 8-in-1®, Dingo®, Nature’s Miracle®, Wild Harvest®, Marineland®, Furminator®, Littermaid®, Birdola®, Healthy Hide®, Digest-eeze®, Iams®, Eukanuba®, SmartBone®, DreamBones®, GloFish®

H&G

 

Spectracide®, Cutter®, Hot Shot®, Real Kill®, Ultra Kill®, Black Flag®, Liquid Fence®, Rid-a-bug®, TAT®, Garden Safe®, Repel®

GAC

 

Armor All®, STP®, A/C PRO®



We acquired the rights to the VARTA® trademark in the consumer battery category and Johnson Controls Inc. acquired rights to the trademark in the automotive battery category from VARTA AG. VARTA AG continues to have rights to use the trademark with travel guides and industrial batteries and VARTA Microbattery GmbH has the right to use the trademark with micro batteries. We are party to a Trademark and Domain Names Protection and Delimitation Agreement that governs ownership and usage rights and obligations of the parties relative to the VARTA® trademark.



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We license the Black & Decker® brand 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 through a trademark license agreement with The Black and Decker Corporation (“BDC”) through December 2018. Under the agreement, Spectrum agreed to pay BDC royalties based on a percentage of sales, with minimum annual royalty payments of $15.0 million through calendar year 2018. The agreement also requires us to comply with maximum annual return rates for products. If BDC does not agree to renew the license agreement, we have 18 months to transition out of the brand name with no minimum royalty payments during such transition period and BDC has agreed to not compete in the four categories for five years after the end of the transition period. Upon request, BDC may elect to extend the license to use the Black & Decker brand to certain additional product categories. BDC has approved several extensions of the license to additional categories and geographies.



We own the rights 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.



We license the Stanley® and Black & Decker® marks and logos in the HHI segment for such products as residential locksets, builder’s hardware, padlocks, and door hardware through a transitional trademark license agreement with Stanley Black & Decker Corporation (“SBD”). Under the agreement and as part of the acquisition of the HHI Business in December 2012, Spectrum has a royalty-free, fully paid license to use certain trademarks, brand names and logos in marketing our products and services for five years after the completion of the HHI Business acquisition. The Company has amended the license agreement with SBD to extend the license agreement and allow for the continued use of the respective trademarks, brand names and logos in the HHI segment through December 2018. During this extension period, Spectrum will pay to SBD royalties based on a percentage of sales.



We own or license from third parties a significant number of patents and patent applications throughout the world relating to products we sell and manufacturing equipment we use. Through our GBA segment, we hold a license that expires in March 2022 for certain alkaline battery designs, technology and manufacturing equipment from Matsushita Electrical Industrial Co., Ltd. (“Matsushita”), to whom we pay a royalty. Through ownership of Shaser, Inc., we have patented technology that is used in our i-Light and i-Light Reveal product line. Through our HHI segment, we own the patented SmartKey®  technology, which enables customers to easily rekey their locks without hiring a locksmith. Through our acquisition of PetMatrix on June 1, 2017, we own patented technology for the development of edible rawhide-free pet treats. Through our acquisition of GloFish on May 12, 2017, we own patented technology used in the development and breeding of fluorescent ornamental fish.



Research and Development



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 strong brand names, established customer relationships and significant research and development efforts to introduce innovative products that offer enhanced value to consumers through new designs and improved functionality. During the years ended September 30, 2017, 2016 and 2015, we invested $59.5 million, $58.7 million and $51.3 million, respectively, in product research and development.



Governmental Regulations and Environmental Matters



Due to the nature of our operations, our facilities are subject to a broad range of federal, state, local and foreign legal and regulatory provisions relating to the environment, including those regulating the discharge of materials into the environment, the handling and disposal of solid and hazardous substances and wastes and the remediation of contamination associated with the releases of hazardous substances at our facilities. We believe that compliance with the federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations to which we are subject will not have a material effect upon our capital expenditures, financial condition, earnings or competitive position.



From time to time, we have been required to address the effect of historic activities on the environmental condition of our properties. We have not conducted invasive testing at all facilities to identify all potential environmental liability risks. Given the age of our facilities and the nature of our operations, it is possible that 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 incur material unforeseen expenses, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, capital expenditures, earnings and competitive position. Although we are currently engaged in investigative or remedial projects at some of our facilities, we do not expect that such projects, taking into account established accruals, 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.



14

 


 

We have been, and in the future may be, 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 held responsible as a result of our relationships with such other parties. In the U.S., these proceedings are under the Federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (“CERCLA”) or similar state 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 costs incurred in investigating and remediating contamination at a site. As a practical matter, liability at CERCLA sites is shared by all of the viable responsible parties. 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 whether 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 laws for other sites not currently known to us, and the costs and liabilities associated with these sites may be material.



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 18 - Commitments and Contingencies in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere within the 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.



Electronic and electrical products that we sell in Europe, particularly products sold under the Remington® brand name, VARTA® battery chargers, certain portable lighting and all of our batteries, are subject to regulation in European Union (“EU”) markets under three key EU directives. The first directive is the Restriction of the Use of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (“RoHS”) which took effect in EU member states beginning July 1, 2006. RoHS prohibits companies from selling products which contain certain specified hazardous materials in EU member states. We believe that compliance with RoHS does not have a material effect on our capital expenditures, financial condition, earnings or competitive position. The second directive is entitled the Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (“WEEE”). WEEE makes producers or importers of particular classes of electrical goods financially responsible for specified collection, recycling, treatment and disposal of past and future covered products. WEEE assigns levels of responsibility to companies doing business in EU markets based on their relative market share. WEEE calls on each EU member state to enact enabling legislation to implement the directive. To comply with WEEE requirements, we have partnered with other companies to create a comprehensive collection, treatment, disposal and recycling program. 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. The third directive is the Directive on Batteries and Accumulators and Waste Batteries, which was adopted in September 2006 and went into effect in September 2008 (the “Battery Directive”). The Battery Directive bans heavy metals in batteries by establishing maximum quantities of those heavy metals in batteries and mandates waste management of batteries, including collection, recycling and disposal systems. The Battery Directive places the costs of such waste management systems on producers and importers of batteries. The Battery Directive calls on each EU member state to enact enabling legislation to implement the directive. We currently believe that compliance with the Battery Directive does not have a material effect on our capital expenditures, financial condition, earnings or competitive position. EU member states have adopted enabling legislation required by the directive and issued additional guidance. We will continue to evaluate the impact of the Battery Directive and its enabling legislation.



Certain of our products and facilities in each of our business segments are regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (the “FDA”) or other federal 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, delay in receipt 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. We may not always be able to avoid or minimize these risks.



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 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.



15

 


 

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. 



Certain A/C products containing R-134a are subject to regulation in the U.S. markets under the EPA’s Significant New Alternative Policy (“SNAP Program”), which implements international agreements restricting the use of certain refrigerants. The EPA has identified use of R-134a in new automotive air conditioning systems as an approved use up to the 2020 automotive model year. The EPA has not yet approved a replacement refrigerant under the SNAP program for sale in small cans for automotive use for automobiles produced beginning with the 2021 model year, and future rulemakings from the agency are anticipated. In addition, in 2017 the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a decision that may remove R-134a from regulation under the SNAP program, and that decision may be subject to en banc review or a writ of certiorari filed with the U.S. Supreme Court. We currently believe that compliance with current and future SNAP regulations will not have a material effect on our capital expenditures, financial condition, earnings or competitive position. However, until such time as future regulations are issued and future alternate refrigerants are approved for sale in small cans, a full evaluation of these costs cannot be completed. We will continue to evaluate the impact of the SNAP Program as the EPA issues additional guidance.



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 intentional 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 EPA, FDA, or another U.S. or foreign state or federal agency could in the future seek to exercise authority over the distribution and/or sale of GloFish. 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 Spectrum Brands. 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.



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.



Employees



We have approximately 16,800 full-time employees worldwide as of September 30, 2017. Approximately 14% of our total labor force is covered by collective bargaining agreements. There are 8 collective bargaining agreements that will expire during our fiscal year ending September 30, 2018, which cover approximately 74% of the labor force under collective bargaining agreements, or approximately 10% of our total labor force. We believe that our overall relationship with our employees is good.



16

 


 

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.



Our substantial indebtedness may limit our financial and operating flexibility, and we may incur additional debt, which could increase the risks associated with our substantial indebtedness.



We have, and we expect to continue to have, a significant amount of indebtedness. See Note 10 – Debt to the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report for additional detail. Our substantial indebtedness has had, and could continue to have, material 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 the senior secured facilities and the indentures governing the notes (together, the “Indentures”), 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, a portion of our debt bears interest at variable rates. If market interest rates increase, the interest rate on our variable rate debt will increase and will 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.



Restrictive covenants in the senior secured facilities and the Indentures may restrict our ability to pursue our business strategies.



The senior secured facilities and the Indentures 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. The senior secured facilities and the Indentures also contain customary events of default. 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, the senior secured facilities and the Indentures 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 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 of 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 the 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.

17

 


 

We are subject to significant international business risks that could hurt our business and cause our results of operations to fluctuate.



Approximately 36% of our net sales for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2017 was to customers outside of the U.S. 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, Brazilian Real, Canadian Dollar, Australian Dollar, Japanese Yen 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;

·

labor unrest;

·

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;

·

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;

·

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, 2017, approximately 36% of our net sales and operating expenses 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 cost of goods sold and our operating margins and 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 appreciate with respect to the U.S. dollar, we may experience fluctuations in our results of operations. Since 2005, the RMB has no longer been pegged to the U.S. dollar 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 U.S. dollar 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.



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. Further, we may not be successful in implementing customer pricing or other actions in an effort to mitigate the impact of currency fluctuations and, thus, our results of operations may be adversely impacted.



18

 


 

Our international operations may expose us to risks related to compliance with the laws and regulations of foreign countries.



We are subject to three EU Directives that may have a material impact on our business: Restriction of the Use of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (“RUHSEEE”), Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (“WEEE”) and the Directive on Batteries and Accumulators and Waste Batteries (“DBAWB”), discussed below. 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 EU DBAWB bans heavy metals in batteries by establishing maximum quantities of heavy metals in batteries and mandates waste management of these batteries, including collection, recycling and disposal systems, with the costs imposed upon producers and importers such as us. 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 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 may be unable to sell certain existing inventories of our batteries in Europe and other countries that have adopted similar regulations.



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 from the current administration.



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”). The current administration has formally withdrawn the United States 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. The current administration has also initiated negotiations with Canada and Mexico aimed at re-negotiating term of NAFTA. It is uncertain what the outcome of the negotiations will be, but it is possible that revisions to NATFA could adversely affect the Company’s existing production operations in Mexico and the current and future levels of sales and earnings of the Company in all three countries. Furthermore, the current administration has threatened tougher trade terms with China and other countries. Media and political reactions in the affected countries could potentially impact the ability of the Company’s operations in those countries. 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 NAFTA or other 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 the United Kingdom’s 2016 referendum, which called for its exit from the European Union.



The announcement of the referendum regarding the United Kingdom’s (“UK”) membership in the European Union (“EU”) on June 23, 2016 (referred to as “Brexit”), advising for the exit of the UK from the EU, and subsequent notification of intention to withdraw given on March 29, 2017, has adversely impacted global markets and foreign currencies. In particular, the value of the Pound Sterling has sharply declined as compared to the US Dollar and other currencies. This volatility in foreign currencies is expected to continue as the UK negotiates and executes its exit from the EU, but there is uncertainty over what time period this will occur. A significantly weaker Pound Sterling compared to the US Dollar could have a significant negative effect on the Company’s business, financial condition and results of operations. The decrease in value to the Pound Sterling and impacts across global markets and foreign currencies may influence trends in consumer confidence and discretionary spending habits, but given the lack of precedent and uncertainty, it is unclear how the implications will affect us.



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The intention to withdraw begins a two-year negotiating period to establish the withdrawal terms. Even if no agreement is reached, the UK’s separation still becomes effective unless all EU members unanimously agree on an extension. Negotiations have commenced to determine the future terms of the UK relationship with the EU, including, among other things, the terms of trade between the UK and the EU. The effects of Brexit will depend on many factors, including any agreements that the UK makes to retain access to EU markets either during a transitional period or more permanently. Brexit could lead to legal uncertainty and potentially divergent national laws and regulations as the UK determines which EU laws to replace or replicate. Any of these effects of Brexit and others we cannot anticipate, Transactions between the UK and the EU, as well as the UK and non-EU countries, such as the United States will be affected because the UK currently operates under the EU’s tax treaties. The UK will need to negotiate its own tax treaties with countries all over the world, which could take years to complete. While we cannot anticipate the outcome of these future negotiations, effects could include uncertainty regarding tax exemptions and reliefs within the EU, as well as expected changes in tax laws or regulations which could materially and adversely affect our business, business opportunities, results of operations, financial condition, liquidity and cash flows.



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, along with discussion over primary competitors included under caption Sales, Distribution and Competition. 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.



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Additionally, consolidation in retail has occurred during the last several years, particularly in developed markets such as the U.S. and Western Europe, resulting in us becoming increasingly dependent on relationships with fewer key retailers that control an increasing percentage of retail locations, which trend may continue. Our success is dependent on our ability to manage our retailer relationships, including offering trade terms on mutually acceptable terms. We generally do not have long-term sales contracts or other sales assurances with our retail customers.



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 sales is included under the caption Seasonality under Item 1 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 control and auto care products could have a material adverse effect on our home and garden business and auto care 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. Weather can also influence customer behavior for our auto care products, especially with appearance and A/C recharge products, which sell best during warm, dry weather. There could be a material adverse effect on the auto care segment if the weather is cold or wet, during the spring and summer seasons when demand typically peaks.



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 and consumer trends toward national mass merchandisers, a significant percentage of our sales are attributable to a limited group of customers. Our largest customer, Walmart, accounted for 15% of our consolidated net sales for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2017. 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, reductions in their purchases, 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.



Although we have long-established relationships with many of our customers, we do not have long-term agreements with them and purchases are generally 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 customers, or significant pressure to reduce prices from any of these major customers, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Additionally, 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 our retailers’ and customers’ demands, 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. 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.



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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 zinc powder, brass, electrolytic manganese dioxide powder, petroleum-based plastic materials, steel, aluminum, copper 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 and other unforeseen circumstances. In particular, during the years 2012 and 2013, we experienced extraordinary price increases for raw materials, particularly as a result of strong demand from China. Although we may 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.



We regularly engage in forward purchase and hedging derivative transactions in an attempt to effectively manage and stabilize some of the raw material costs we expect to incur over the next 12 to 24 months. However, our hedging positions may not be effective, or may not anticipate beneficial trends, in a particular raw material market or may, as a result of changes in our business, no longer be useful for us. See Note 12 – Derivatives in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in the Annual Report for further discussion over our effective hedging strategies over certain commodity costs. In addition, for certain of the principal raw materials we use to produce our products, such as electrolytic manganese dioxide powder, there are no available effective hedging markets. If these efforts are not effective or expose us 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.



We manufacture the majority of our foil cutting systems for our shaving product lines, using specially designed machines and proprietary cutting technology, at our Portage, Wisconsin facility. In addition, we also manufacture the majority of our residential door locks at our Subic Bay, Philippines facility. Our home and garden products are mainly manufactured from our St. Louis, Missouri, facility. GAC’s manufacturing facility consists of one site which is located in Dayton, Ohio and is dependent upon the continued safe operation of this facility.

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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 facility 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 its manufacturing facility. Any damage to its 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.



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 will cause 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.



A change in governmental regulations regarding the use of refrigerant gas R-134a or its potential future substitutes could have a material adverse effect on GAC’s ability to sell its aftermarket A/C products.



The refrigerant R-134a is critical component of the Company’s aftermarket A/C products and is used in products which comprised approximately 35% of GAC’s net sales, or approximately 3% of the Company’s net sales, in the year ended September 30, 2017. Older generation refrigerants such as R-12 (Freon) have been regulated for some time in the United States and elsewhere, due to concerns about their potential to contribute to ozone depletion. In recent years, refrigerants such as R-134a, which is an approved substitute for R-12, have also become the subject of regulatory focus due to their potential to contribute to global warming.



The European Union has passed regulations that require the phase out of R-134a in automotive cooling systems in new vehicles by 2017. In the United States, the Company cannot predict what future action, if any, the EPA will take on the regulation of R-134a. But based on currently available information, it believes that it would take some time for suitable alternatives to R-134a to come into full scale commercial production and therefore such alternatives would not be readily available for wide spread use in new car models. If the future use of R-134a is phased out or is limited or prohibited in jurisdictions in which we do business, the future market for GAC’s products containing R-134a may be limited, which could have a material adverse impact on its results of operations, financial condition, and cash flows.



In addition, regulations may be enacted governing the packaging, use and disposal of the Company’s products containing refrigerants. For example, regulations are currently in effect in California that governs the sale and distribution of products containing R-134a. While the Company has reported that it is not aware of any noncompliance with such regulations, its failure to comply with these or possible future regulations in California, or elsewhere, could result in material fines or costs or the inability to sell its products in those markets, which could have a material adverse impact on the results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. If substitutes for R-134a become widely used in A/C systems and their use for DIY and retrofit purposes are not approved by the EPA, it could have a material adverse effect on GAC’s results of operations, financial condition, and cash flows. In addition, the cost of HFO-1234yf, the leading long-term alternative to R-134a being proposed in the United States and the European Union for use in the A/C systems of new vehicles, will likely be higher than that of R-134a and access to supply of HFO-1234yf may be limited. If HFO-1234yf becomes widely used and the Company is able to develop products using HFO-1234yf, but is unable to price its products to reflect the increased cost of HFO-1234yf, it could have a material adverse effect on its results of operations, financial condition and cash flow.

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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 multi-national 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, trade names and patents from third parties for certain of our products. Further discussion and detail on licensed trademarks, trade names and patents are included under the caption Patents and Trademarks under Item 1 above. 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.



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 litigations 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.



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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.



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. For example, on June 10, 2017, the Company initiated a voluntary safety recall of various rawhide chew products for dogs sold by the Company’s PET segment due to possible chemical contamination. The costs of the recall negatively impacted Net Sales, Gross Margin, and Adjusted EBITDA in the PET segment and the Company expects ongoing impacts to its business. 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 18 - Commitments and Contingencies in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere for further discussion on product liability and product recalls.



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.



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, Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment and the Directive on Batteries and Accumulators and Waste Batteries, 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.



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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 in the future, 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 18 - Commitments and Contingencies in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere within the 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.



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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.



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 the Home and Garden 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 Home and Garden 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.



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.



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 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 information technology 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 information technology 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 information technology 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.

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Our actual or perceived failure to adequately protect personal data could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.



A 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.



We historically have relied upon adherence to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Safe Harbor Privacy Principles and compliance with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework under Directive 95/46/EC (commonly referred to as the “Data Protection Directive”) agreed to by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the EU. The U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework, which established means for legitimizing the transfer of personal data by U.S. companies from the European Economic Area, or EEA, to the U.S., recently was invalidated by a decision of the European Court of Justice (or the “ECJ”).



On July 12, 2016, the European Commission adopted the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, which provides a framework for the transfer of personal data of EU data subjects, and on May 4, 2016, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which will replace Directive 95/46/EC, was formally published. The GDPR will go into effect on May 25, 2018 and as a regulation as opposed to a directive will be directly applicable in EU member states. Among other things, the GDPR applies to data controllers and processors outside of the EU whose processing activities relate to the offering of goods or services to, or monitoring the behavior within the EU of, EU data subjects.



In light of these developments, we are reviewing our business practices and may find it necessary or desirable to make changes to our personal data handling to cause our transfer and receipt of EEA residents’ personal data to be legitimized under applicable European law. The regulation of data privacy in the EU continues to evolve, and it is not possible to predict the ultimate content, and therefore the effect, of data protection regulation over time.



Our actual or alleged failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations, or 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.



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. 



See discussion over the Company’s labor force subject to collective bargaining agreements under the caption Employees in Item 1 above. 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.



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.



We depend on key personnel and may not be able to retain those employees or recruit additional qualified 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.



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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, capital loss 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 will 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.  Further, if we are unable to fully utilize our NOLs to offset taxable income generated in the future, our future cash taxes could be materially and negatively impacted.  For further detail over the Company’s federal and state NOLs, credits, and applicable valuation allowance, see Note 14 – Income Taxes in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report.



Our acquisition and expansion strategy may not be successful.



Our growth strategy is based in part on growth through acquisitions, which poses a number of risks. We may not be successful in identifying appropriate acquisition candidates, consummating acquisitions on satisfactory terms or integrating any newly acquired or expanded business with our current operations. 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. The execution of our acquisition and expansion strategy 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 will be pursued or that any acquisitions that are pursued will be consummated.



Significant costs have been incurred and are expected to be incurred in connection with the consummation of recent and future business acquisitions and the integration of such acquired businesses with Spectrum into a combined company, including legal, accounting, financial advisory and other costs.



We expect to incur one-time costs in connection with integrating our operations, products and personnel and those of businesses we acquire into a combined company, in addition to costs related directly to completing such acquisitions. We would expect similar costs to be incurred with any future acquisition. These costs may include expenditures for: 



·

employee redeployment, relocation or severance;

·

integration of operations and information systems;

·

combination 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 with combining our operations with those of acquired businesses. Additional unanticipated costs may yet be incurred as we integrate our business with acquired businesses. Although we expect that the elimination of duplicative costs, as well as the realization of other efficiencies related to the integration of our operations with those of acquired businesses, 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 Company and the businesses we acquire, 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 these 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.



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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.



Integrating our business with acquired businesses may divert our management’s attention away from operations.



Successful integration of acquired businesses’ operations, products and personnel with us 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 and integration process, could harm our business, financial condition and operating results.



As a result of business acquisitions, 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. As a result of business acquisitions, our current and prospective employees could experience 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. In addition, we currently do not maintain “key person” insurance covering any member of our management team.



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.



General customer uncertainty related to our business acquisitions could harm us.



Our customers may, in response to the announcement or consummation of a business acquisition, 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.



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 steps 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.

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The successful execution of our operational efficiency and multi-year restructuring initiatives are key to the long-term growth of our business.



We continue to engage in targeted restructuring initiatives, such as the HHI Distribution Center Consolidation and GAC Business Rationalization 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 4 - Restructuring and Related Charges in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report for additional detail over restructuring related activity.



The sale or other disposition by HRG Group, Inc. (“HRG”), the holder of a majority of the outstanding shares of our common stock, to non-affiliates of a sufficient amount of the common stock of the Company would constitute a change of control under the agreements governing the Company’s debt. 



HRG owns a majority of the outstanding shares of the common stock of the Company. The sale or other disposition by HRG to non-affiliates of a sufficient amount of the common stock of the Company could constitute a change of control under certain of the agreements governing the Company's debt, including any foreclosure on or sale of the Company's common stock pledged as collateral by HRG pursuant to the indenture governing HRG's 7.875% Senior Secured Notes due 2019. Under the senior secured facilities, a change of control is an event of default and, if a change of control were to occur, the Company would be required to amend these facilities to avoid a default. If the Company was unable to amend these facilities, the lenders could accelerate the maturity of any outstanding debt under these facilities. In addition, under the Indentures, upon a change of control of the Company, the Company is required to offer to repurchase such notes from the holders at a price equal to 101% of the principal amount of the notes plus accrued interest or obtain a waiver of default from the holders of such notes. If the Company were unable to make the change of control offer, or to obtain a waiver of default, it would be an event of default under the indentures that could allow holders of such notes to accelerate the maturity of the notes. See the risk factor entitled HRG and its significant stockholders exercise significant influence over us and their interests in our business may be different from the interests of our stockholders included elsewhere in this Annual Report.



HRG and its significant stockholders exercise significant influence over us and their interests in our business may be different from the interests of our stockholders.



HRG, as our majority stockholder, and its significant stockholders, have the ability to influence the outcome of any corporate action by us that requires stockholder approval, including, but not limited to, the election of directors, approval of merger transactions and the sale of all or substantially all of our assets. In addition, we are a party to a stockholder agreement with HRG and certain of its stockholders. This influence and actual control may have the effect of discouraging offers to acquire the Company because any such consummation would likely require the consent of HRG and perhaps certain of its stockholders. HRG may also delay or prevent a change in control of the Company.



In addition, because HRG owns more than 50% of the voting power of the Company, the Company is considered a controlled company under the NYSE listing standards. As such, the NYSE corporate governance rules requiring that a majority of the Company’s board of directors and the Company’s entire compensation committee or the nominating and corporate governance committee be independent do not apply. As a result, the ability of the Company’s independent directors to influence its business policies and affairs may be reduced.



We are one of several companies in which HRG owns a controlling interest. The interests of HRG and these other companies may, from time to time, diverge from the interests of other of the Company’s stockholders and from each other, particularly with regard to new investment opportunities. HRG is not restricted from investing in other businesses involving or related to the marketing or distribution of household products, pet and pest products and personal care products. HRG may also engage in other businesses that compete or may in the future compete with the Company.



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If HRG were to sell substantial amounts of the Company’s common stock in the public market, or investors perceive that these sales could occur, the market price of the Company's common stock could be adversely affected. The Company has entered into a registration rights agreement (the “Registration Rights Agreement”) with HRG, certain of HRG’s stockholders and certain other of our stockholders. If requested properly under the terms of the Registration Rights Agreement, these stockholders have the right to require the Company to register all or some of such shares for sale under the Securities Act in certain circumstances, and also have the right to include those shares in a registration initiated by the Company. If the Company is required to include the shares of its common stock held by these stockholders pursuant to these registration rights in a registration initiated by the Company, sales made by such stockholders may adversely affect the price of the Company's common stock and ability to raise needed capital. In addition, if these stockholders exercise their demand registration rights and cause a large number of shares to be registered and sold in the public market or demand that the Company registers its shares on a shelf registration statement, such sales or shelf registration may have an adverse effect on the market price of the Company’s common stock.



As previously announced by HRG in November 2016, HRG disclosed that its Board of Directors had initiated a process to explore the strategic alternatives available to HRG with a view to maximizing shareholder value. HRG has further stated that as part of this process, HRG expects to discuss and may make proposals to one or more of the Company, its management, its board of directors, its stockholders and other persons, including discussions and proposals that may include, but are not limited to, a merger or a sale and/or a business combination of HRG and the Company. HRG has stated there is no definitive schedule for it to complete its review of strategic alternatives.



In light of HRG’s announcement of its exploration of strategic alternatives in November 2016, the Company’s Board of Directors formed a special committee of independent directors and has hired independent financial and legal advisors. In connection therewith, the committee and HRG have made and may in the future make proposals to one another concerning a potential strategic transaction relating to HRG and the Company.  Any such transaction is expected to be beneficial to all shareholders of the Company. There can be no assurance that any further proposals will be made or that HRG’s process will result in a transaction, or if a transaction is undertaken, as to its terms, timing or outcome. Neither we nor HRG intend to provide any updates with respect to the foregoing unless determined otherwise in our or HRG’s sole discretion or as required by law.



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.



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.



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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;

·

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;

·

additional issuances of common stock;

·

low volume of sales due to concentrated ownership of common stock;

·

intellectual property disputes;

·

industry developments;

·

economic and other external factors;

·

period-to-period fluctuations in our financial results;

·

market concerns with respect to the potential indirect impact of matters not directly involving the Company but impacting HRG or its affiliates; and

·

market concerns about possible strategic transaction with HRG.



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 equity incentive plan approved by the shareholders on March 1, 2011, called the Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. 2011 Omnibus Equity Award Plan (the “2011 Equity Plan”), 4,625,676 shares of common stock of the Company, net of cancellations, were authorized to be issued. At the 2014 annual shareholders meeting, the 2011 Equity Plan was amended to increase the shares issuable by 1,000,000, and further amended at the 2016 annual shareholders meeting to increase the shares by 1,500,000; therefore, a total of 7,125,676 shares, net of cancellations, are authorized to be issued under such plan. Increases to the number of shares issuable under the 2011 Equity Plan are subject to approval by the Board of Directors and shareholders. As of September 30, 2017, we have issued 5,210,307 restricted stock units (or the equivalent number of shares of common stock upon the lapsing of the applicable restrictions) under the 2011 Plan and have a remaining authorization to issue up to a total of 1,915,369 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. Further, any such issuance or exercise could result in a change of control. Under our certificate of incorporation, holders of 5% or more of the outstanding common stock or capital stock into which any shares of common stock may be converted have certain rights to purchase their pro rata share of certain future issuances of securities.



ITEM 1B.UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS



None.

33

 


 

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES



The following lists our principal owned or leased administrative, manufacturing, packaging and distribution facilities at September 30, 2017: 



Corporate & Administrative



 

 

 

 

Location

 

Function / Use

 

Owned / Leased

U.S. Locations

 

 

 

 

Middleton, Wisconsin

 

World Headquarters & GBA Headquarters

 

Leased

Danbury, Connecticut

 

GAC Headquarters

 

Leased

Earth City, Missouri

 

Pet, Home & Garden Headquarters

 

Leased

Lake Forest, California

 

HHI Headquarters

 

Leased

Miami Lakes, Florida

 

Latin America Headquarters

 

Leased

Non-U.S. Locations

 

 

 

 

Manchester, England

 

UK Headquarters

 

Owned

Mentone, Australia

 

APAC Headquarters

 

Leased

Sulzbach, Germany

 

Europe Headquarters

 

Leased

Mississauga, Canada

 

Canada Headquarters

 

Leased



Shared Operations & Sales Offices





 

 

 

 

Location

 

Function / Use

 

Owned / Leased

U.S. Locations

 

 

 

 

Alpharetta, Georgia

 

Platform sales

 

Leased

Bentonville, Arkansas

 

Platform sales

 

Leased

Minneapolis, Minnesota

 

Platform sales

 

Leased

Mooresville, North Carolina

 

Platform sales

 

Leased

Middleton, Wisconsin

 

Design and testing

 

Leased

Non-U.S. Locations

 

 

 

 

Concord, Canada

 

Distribution

 

Leased

Mentone, Australia

 

Distribution

 

Leased

Wolverhampton, England

 

Distribution

 

Owned

Shenzhen, China

 

Distribution

 

Leased



Global Batteries and Appliances (GBA)





 

 

 

 

Location

 

Function / Use

 

Owned / Leased

U.S. Locations

 

 

 

 

Fennimore, Wisconsin

 

Battery Manufacturing

 

Owned

Portage, Wisconsin

 

Battery Manufacturing

 

Owned

DeForest, Wisconsin

 

Distribution

 

Leased

Dixon, Illinois

 

Distribution

 

Leased

Redlands, California

 

Distribution

 

Leased

Non-U.S. Locations

 

 

 

 

Dischingen, Germany

 

Battery Manufacturing

 

Leased

Guatemala City, Guatemala

 

Battery Manufacturing

 

Owned

Cavaleiro, Brazil

 

Battery Manufacturing

 

Owned

Washington, UK

 

Battery Manufacturing

 

Leased

Ellwangen-Neunheim, Germany

 

Distribution

 

Leased

Guatemala City, Guatemala

 

Distribution

 

Owned

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

 

Distribution

 

Owned

Middleton, Wisconsin

 

Research & Development

 

Leased



34

 


 

Home & Hardware Improvement (HHI)





 

 

 

 

Location

 

Function / Use

 

Owned / Leased

U.S. Locations

 

 

 

 

Charlotte, North Carolina

 

Distribution

 

Leased

Edgerton, Kansas

 

Distribution

 

Leased

Houston, Texas

 

Manufacturing & Distribution

 

Leased

Lititz, Pennsylvania

 

Manufacturing & Distribution

 

Leased

Denison, Texas

 

Manufacturing

 

Leased

Birmingham, Alabama

 

Distribution

 

Leased

Dallas, Texas

 

Distribution

 

Leased

Denison, Texas

 

Distribution

 

Owned

Elkhart, Indiana

 

Distribution

 

Leased

Mira Loma, California

 

Distribution

 

Leased

Non-U.S. Locations

 

 

 

 

Mexicali, Mexico

 

Manufacturing & Distribution

 

Leased

Chia-Yi, Taiwan

 

Manufacturing

 

Leased

Nogales, Mexico

 

Manufacturing

 

Owned

Subic Bay, Philippines

 

Manufacturing

 

Owned

Xiamen, China

 

Manufacturing

 

Leased

Xiaolan, China

 

Manufacturing

 

Leased

Brockville, Canada

 

Distribution

 

Leased



Global Pet Supplies (PET)







 

 

 

 

Location

 

Function / Use

 

Owned / Leased

U.S. Locations

 

 

 

 

Blacksburg, Virginia

 

Manufacturing

 

Owned

Bridgeton, Missouri

 

Manufacturing

 

Leased

Noblesville, Indiana

 

Manufacturing

 

Owned

St. Louis, Missouri

 

Manufacturing

 

Leased

Edwardsville, Illinois

 

Distribution

 

Leased

Riverview, Florida

 

Research & Development

 

Leased

Non-U.S. Locations

 

 

 

 

Bogota, Colombia

 

Manufacturing & Distribution

 

Leased

Melle, Germany

 

Manufacturing & Distribution

 

Owned

Ambato, Ecuador

 

Manufacturing

 

Leased

Coevorden, Netherlands

 

Manufacturing

 

Owned

Leon, Mexico

 

Manufacturing

 

Leased

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

 

Manufacturing

 

Leased



Home & Garden (H&G)







 

 

 

 

Location

 

Function / Use

 

Owned / Leased

U.S. Locations

 

 

 

 

St. Louis, Missouri

 

Manufacturing

 

Leased

Edwardsville, Illinois

 

Distribution

 

Leased



Global Auto Care (GAC)







 

 

 

 

Location

 

Function / Use

 

Owned / Leased

U.S. Locations

 

 

 

 

Dayton, Ohio

 

Manufacturing & Distribution

 

Leased

Non-U.S. Locations

 

 

 

 

Ebbw Vale, Gwent, Wales

 

Manufacturing & Distribution

 

Leased



We also own, operate or 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.

35

 


 

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 18 - Commitments and Contingencies in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements, included elsewhere within this Annual Report, for additional detail. See also the discussion captioned Governmental Regulations and Environmental Matters under Item 1 above.



ITEM 4.MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES



Not applicable

36

 


 

PART II



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 16, 2017, there were approximately 5 holders of record based upon data provided by the transfer agent for the SBH’s common stock. We believe the number of beneficial holders of SBH’s common stock is significantly in excess of this amount. The following table sets forth the reported high and low bid prices per share of SBH common stock as reported on the NYSE Composite Transaction Tape, for the fiscal period indicated:



 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 



 

High

 

Low

Year Ended September 30, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quarter ended September 30, 2017

 

$

126.69 

 

$

102.27 

Quarter ended July 2, 2017

 

$

146.09 

 

$

122.79 

Quarter ended April 2, 2017

 

$

143.20 

 

$

118.93 

Quarter ended January 1, 2017

 

$

138.10 

 

$

113.95 

Year Ended September 30, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quarter ended September 30, 2016

 

$

138.95 

 

$

114.63 

Quarter ended July 3, 2016

 

$

122.52 

 

$

106.91 

Quarter ended April 3, 2016

 

$

110.39 

 

$

87.65 

Quarter ended January 3, 2016

 

$

103.57 

 

$

89.88 



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 16, 2017, there is only one record holder of its equity securities. During the years ended September 30, 2017 and 2016, SB/RH paid dividends of $350.8 million and $97.2 million, respectively, to SBH. Certain restrictive covenants within the Company’s debt facilities impose limitations on payment of dividends by SB/RH’s subsidiaries to SB/RH and to SBH.



Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers





On July 28, 2015, the Board of Directors of SBH approved a $300 million common stock repurchase program. The authorization was effective for 36 months. The following table reflects all shares repurchased, inclusive of shares purchased under the program:





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

Total Number

 

Average

 

Total Number

 

Approximate Dollar Value



 

of Shares

 

Price Paid

 

of Shares Purchased

 

of Shares that may



 

Purchased

 

Per Share

 

as Part of Plan

 

Yet Be Purchased

As of September 30, 2016

 

580,087 

 

$

96.26 

 

580,087 

 

$

244,159,304 

Quarter ended January 1, 2017

 

807,281 

 

 

120.95 

 

807,281 

 

 

146,520,916 

January 2 to January 24, 2017

 

44,550 

 

 

122.38 

 

44,550 

 

 

141,068,869 

As of January 24, 2017

 

1,431,918 

 

$

110.99 

 

1,431,918 

 

$

141,068,869 



On January 24, 2017, the Board of Directors approved a $500 million common stock repurchase program. The authorization is effective for 36 months and replaces the pre-existing $300 million common stock repurchase program that was schedule to expire in July 2018. As of September 30, 2017, the following activity occurred on the $500 million common stock repurchase program:





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

Total Number

 

Average

 

Total Number

 

Approximate Dollar Value



 

of Shares

 

Price Paid

 

of Shares Purchased

 

of Shares that may



 

Purchased

 

Per Share

 

as Part of Plan

 

Yet Be Purchased

As of January 24, 2017

 

 

$

 

 

$

500,000,000 

Quarter ended April 2, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

500,000,000 

Quarter ended July 2, 2017

 

487,677 

 

 

128.92 

 

487,677 

 

 

437,127,636 

Quarter ended September 30, 2017

 

729,145 

 

 

118.74 

 

729,145 

 

 

350,550,095 

As of September 30, 2017

 

1,216,822 

 

$

122.82 

 

1,216,822 

 

$

350,550,095 



37

 


 

Stock Performance Graph



The following graph compares the cumulative total stockholder return on our Common Stock to the cumulative total return of (i) the Russell 1000 Financial Index and (ii) our peer group selected in good faith, which is composed of the following companies (alphabetical order): Central Garden and Pet Company, Church & Dwight Co., Inc., The Clorox Company, Edgewell Personal Care Company, Energizer Holdings, Inc., Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc., Hanesbrands, Inc., Hasbro, Inc., Helen of Troy Limited, Mattel, Inc., Newell Brands, Inc., Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc., The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, Stanley Black & Decker, Inc., and Tupperware Brands Corporation. The peer group is unchanged from 2016.



The comparison below assumes that $100 was invested in the common stock of SBH from September 30, 2012 until September 30, 2017. 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.





Picture 3





38

 


 

ITEM 6.SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA



Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.



The following selected historical financial data is derived from SBH’s audited consolidated financial statements as of and for the years ended September 30. The summary has been derived in part from, and should be read in conjunction with, the Consolidated Financial Statements of the Company included elsewhere in this Annual Report.  

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(in millions, except per share data)

 

2017(1)

 

2016(2)

 

2015(3)

 

2014(4)

 

2013(5)

Statement of Operations Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

$

5,007.4 

 

$

5,039.7 

 

$

4,690.4 

 

$

4,429.1 

 

$

4,085.6 

Gross profit

 

 

1,874.8 

 

 

1,919.9 

 

 

1,670.3 

 

 

1,568.9 

 

 

1,390.3 

Operating income

 

 

561.4 

 

 

656.2 

 

 

474.1 

 

 

481.9 

 

 

351.2 

Interest expense

 

 

211.1 

 

 

250.0 

 

 

271.9 

 

 

202.1 

 

 

375.6 

Income (loss) from operations before income taxes

 

 

344.6 

 

 

397.6 

 

 

193.3 

 

 

273.5 

 

 

(27.9)

Income tax expense

 

 

47.5 

 

 

40.0 

 

 

43.9 

 

 

59.0 

 

 

27.4 

Net income (loss)

 

 

297.1 

 

 

357.6 

 

 

149.4 

 

 

214.5 

 

 

(55.3)

Net income (loss) attributable to controlling interest

 

 

295.8 

 

 

357.1 

 

 

148.9 

 

 

214.1 

 

 

(55.2)

Restructuring and Related Charges

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cost of goods sold

 

$

18.3 

 

$

0.5 

 

$

2.1 

 

$

3.7 

 

$

10.0 

Operating expenses

 

 

44.2 

 

 

14.7 

 

 

26.6 

 

 

19.2 

 

 

24.0 

Earnings (Loss) Per Share of Common Stock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

$

5.04 

 

$

6.02 

 

$

2.68 

 

$

4.07 

 

$

(1.06)

Diluted

 

 

5.02 

 

 

5.99 

 

 

2.66 

 

 

4.02 

 

 

(1.06)

Dividends per share

 

 

1.64 

 

 

1.47 

 

 

1.27 

 

 

1.15 

 

 

0.75 

Weighted Average Shares Outstanding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

 

58.6 

 

 

59.3 

 

 

55.6 

 

 

52.6 

 

 

52.0 

Diluted

 

 

59.0 

 

 

59.6 

 

 

55.9 

 

 

53.3 

 

 

52.0 

Cash Flow and Related Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net cash provided by operating activities

 

$

665.4 

 

$

615.0 

 

$

444.3 

 

$

432.7 

 

$

256.5 

Purchase of property, plant and equipment

 

 

115.0 

 

 

95.2 

 

 

89.1 

 

 

73.3 

 

 

82.0 

Depreciation and amortization

 

 

198.7 

 

 

183.0 

 

 

170.0 

 

 

157.6 

 

 

139.9 

Statement of Financial Position Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

$

168.2 

 

$

275.3 

 

$

247.9 

 

$

194.6 

 

$

207.3 

Working capital (6)

 

 

493.7 

 

 

537.3 

 

 

660.6 

 

 

485.0 

 

 

497.5 

Total assets

 

 

7,419.7 

 

 

7,069.1 

 

 

7,193.8 

 

 

5,429.6 

 

 

5,543.2 

Total debt

 

 

3,840.7 

 

 

3,620.2 

 

 

3,905.9 

 

 

2,939.7 

 

 

3,153.6 

Total equity

 

 

1,846.7 

 

 

1,844.0 

 

 

1,606.8 

 

 

1,086.8 

 

 

940.1 



(1)

For the year ended September 30, 2017, the operating results include the PetMatrix operations since the acquisition date of June 1, 2017 and GloFish operations since the acquisition date of May 12, 2017. Operating income includes an impairment of indefinite lived intangible assets of $16.3 million. Interest expense includes $4.6 million of tender premium and a non-cash expense of $1.9 million as a result of the write-off of unamortized debt issuance costs in connection with the redemption of the 6.375% Notes.

(2)

For the year ended September 30, 2016, operating income includes an impairment of indefinite lived intangible assets of $4.7 million. Interest expense includes $15.6 million of tender premium and a non-cash expense of $5.8 million as a result of the write-off of unamortized debt issuance costs in connection with the redemption of the 6.375% Notes. Income tax expense includes a non-cash benefit of $111.1 million from a decrease in the valuation allowance against net deferred tax asset.

(3)

For the year ended September 30, 2015, the operating results include the Armored AutoGroup operations since the acquisition date of May 21, 2015; Salix operations since the acquisition date of January 16, 2015; European IAMS and Eukanuba operations since the acquisition date of December 31, 2014; and Tell operations since the acquisition date of October 1, 2014. Interest expense of $58.8 million was incurred related to the financing of the acquisition of AAG and the refinancing of the then-existing senior credit facility and asset based revolving loan facility. Income tax expense includes a non-cash benefit of $20.2 million from a decrease in the valuation allowance against net deferred tax assets, and a $22.8 million benefit due to the reversal of valuation allowance in conjunction with the acquisition of the AAG business.

(4)

For the year ended September 30, 2014, the operating results include the Liquid Fence operations since the acquisition date of January 2, 2014. Interest expense includes a non-cash charge of $9.2 million as a result of the write-off of unamortized debt issuance costs and unamortized discounts in connection with the amendment of the Company's then existing term loans. Income tax expense includes a non-cash benefit of approximately $115.6 million from a decrease in the valuation allowance against net deferred tax assets.

39

 


 

(5)

For the year ended September 30, 2013, the operating results include the HHI Business operations since the acquisition date of December 17, 2012, and the TLM Taiwan operations since the acquisition date of April 8, 2013. Interest expense includes $105.6 million fees and expenses along with a $10.9 million non-cash charge for the write-off of unamortized debt issuance cost and unamortized premiums in connection with the extinguishment and replacement of the Company's 9.5% Notes and then-existing term loan in conjunction with the acquisition of the HHI Business. Income taxes includes a non-cash charge of approximately $64.4 million from an increase in the valuation allowance against net deferred tax assets, net of a $49.8 million benefit due to the reversal of a portion of the valuation allowance in conjunction with the acquisition of the HHI Business.

(6)

Working capital is defined as current assets less current liabilities per the consolidated statements of financial position.



SB/RH Holdings, LLC



Omitted pursuant to General instruction I of Form 10-K.

40

 


 

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 t