A.T. Cross agrees to sell its pens and accessories business for $60m

A Cross pen. Photo taken from the company’s website.
A Cross pen. Photo taken from the company’s website.

A.T. Cross Co. of Rhode Island, a company long known for its writing instruments, said Monday that it has agreed to sell the accessories business that includes pens for $60 million so it can focus on its sports sunglass brands Costa and Native Eyewear.

The buyer is a newly-formed affiliate of Clarion Capital Partners LLC, a New York-based private equity firm. Under the sales agreement, the Clarion affiliate will assume substantially all the liabilities associated with the division but excluding the US defined benefit pension plan, A.T. Cross said in a press release.

According to A.T. Cross, its optical division accounted for about 46 percent of 2012 revenue.

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The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter. In February, A.T. Cross said that it was exploring strategic alternatives for its Cross Accessory Division.

In a statement, Eric Kogan, a partner with Clarion Capital Partners, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to invest in this truly iconic American brand. Generations of quality-focused consumers around the world have embraced Cross in their everyday lives, when they have important gifts to give, special letters to write and documents to sign. We look forward to partnering with Cross’ dedicated management team and employees so the Division can build on its rich heritage and develop designs for the next generation of customers.”