Brown-Forman Corp. has agreed to sell substantially all of Lenox, Inc. to Department 56 for $190 million. In February, Brown-Forman announced it was exploring strategic alternatives for Lenox, including a possible sale. During this process, the company considered a range of alternatives but ultimately concluded that selling the business was in the best interest of Brown-Forman shareholders. "The environment for this business has been challenging for several years, as evidenced by the weakness throughout the U.S. tabletop and giftware industry," said Owsley Brown II, chairman and chief executive officer of Brown-Forman. "We believe Department 56 is very well positioned to focus exclusively on and grow this outstanding portfolio of brands." Brown-Forman will retain ownership of the Lenox headquarters property and building located in Lawrenceville, N.J., as well as Lenox's Brooks & Bentley subsidiary in the UK. Brown-Forman is continuing its strategic review of Brooks & Bentley in a separate process and plans to sell the Lawrenceville property. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory clearance in the U.S., financing and customary closing requirements, is expected to conclude in six to eight weeks.
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