Evenflo buys Ameda Breastfeeding Products
Aiming to strengthen its breastfeeding product portfolio, infant product manufacturer Evenflo Company, Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire Ameda Breastfeeding Products from Hollister Inc., according to the company
The deal is expected to close in January 2008, pending completion of contractual requirements. The acquisition of Libertyville, Ill.-based Ameda represents a defining moment in Evenflo's ongoing strategy to deliver products and services for both moms and children.
“Evenflo is dedicated to developing and marketing products that are ‘best for baby’ and, by extension best for mothers too,” Evenflo Chief Executive Officer Rob Matteucci said in a statement. “The addition of Ameda to our family of products further expands our ability to provide moms the widest range of options to enhance their breastfeeding experience.”
Vandalia, Ohio-based Evenflo Company, Inc. manufacturers and markets infant and juvenile products that include car seats, strollers, portable play yards, feeding supplies, carriers, stationary activity centers and safety gates.
A Swedish engineer designed Ameda’s first breast pump 60 years ago. The company continues to design and manufacture breast pumps for mothers. Hollister Incorporated manufactures and markets a range of health care products in more than 90 countries.
To limit disruption of the business, Ameda
’s brand name and employees, and will open an Ameda office in the Chicago area.
As part of the deal, Evenflo has agreed to comply with the World Health Organization’s international code of marketing breast milk substitutes – becoming the first U.S. baby bottle manufacturer to do so.
Established in 1981, WHO’s code was created to guide marketers in best practices in marketing breast milk substitutes, formula, bottles and nipples to consumers.
Effective immediately, Evenflo will discontinue all bottle and nipple advertising directed to consumers, change its packaging to align with WHO guidelines and remove bottle and nipple images from its Web site.
“The WHO code is designed to promote and protect breastfeeding around the world … I’m gratified to see Evenflo and Ameda delivering on their promise to develop and market products in a manner that will not interfere or impede with breastfeeding,” Marsha Walker, executive director of the national alliance for breastfeeding advocacy, said in a statement.
According to The List database, New York-based Zeno Group has been the company’s public relations agency of record since 2003. Cincinnati-based Wondergroup has been the company’s advertising AOR since 2003. Ameda has no agency relationships.
According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, Evenflo spent about $3 million on media in 2006, all of which was spent on national magazines.
This may be a good opportunity for agencies with branding or design experience to step in for project work at Evenflo or Ameda. Firms that can craft consumer education campaigns may be welcomed, as well as those agencies that can provide sales promotion or product placement opportunities for the companies.