U.S. Industries Wants to be Jacuzzi Brands

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. U.S. Industries Inc., the parent of the Jacuzzi brand and Zurn family of brand names and Rainbow vacuum cleaner systems, in late April announced that it wants to change its name to Jacuzzi Brands. The firm also announced several executive changes. The companys board of directors has authorized, subject to the approval of USIs shareholders, a change in the name of the corporation

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. — U.S. Industries Inc., the parent of the Jacuzzi brand and Zurn family of brand names and Rainbow vacuum cleaner systems, in late April announced that it wants to change its name to Jacuzzi Brands. The firm also announced several executive changes.

The company’s board of directors has authorized, subject to the approval of USI’s shareholders, a change in the name of the corporation to Jacuzzi Brands Inc.

“We believe that adopting this new name would be an important step in promoting the company’s strong brand portfolio, emphasizing our new corporate structure and clarifying our profile in the financial community,” said David H. Clarke, chairman and CEO of USI. “The Jacuzzi name reaches far beyond the retail marketplace. It joins only a handful of other global consumer brands that have transcended their respective markets and become part of the culture of our society.”

Clarke noted: “We are fortunate that USI’s portfolio is further strengthened by the inclusion of a variety of well-known consumer brands. Our Sundance brand is an industry-leader in premium spas and Eljer is a leading North American manufacturer of sanitary ware, including toilets, baths and sinks. Zurn is a recognized and respected brand name in the domestic commercial and institutional ‘behind the wall’ plumbing marketplace, while the Rainbow vacuum cleaners manufactured by Rexair are ranked second in total domestic market share in the direct sale vacuum cleaner market. The continued strong performance of these brands will be an important part of the company’s future.”

Proxy materials related to the proposed name change was to be mailed to shareholders of record in early May. The company will also file an application with the New York Stock Exchange for a new trading symbol.

Among the management changes, Donald C. Devine has been named president and chief operating officer of USI, effective April 21. The position has been unfilled since September 1999.

Devine had served as president and chief executive officer of Jacuzzi since June 2002. Devine previously was president and chief executive officer of Kimble Glass, the U.S. subsidiary of Germany’s Gerresheimer Group, from 1998-2001. Before that he was a senior executive at Ivex Packaging Corp., Gaylord Container Corp., the James River Corp. and Packaging Corp. of America.

Jeffrey B. Park has been named senior vice president and CFO of USI. Park served as vice president and CFO of Jacuzzi since August 2002. From 1986 to 2002, he served in positions of increasing responsibility at Gaylord Container Corp., culminating with his promotion to vice president/finance.

Park replaces Allan D. Weingarten, who will remain senior vice president and treasurer of the company through the end of 2003. Weingarten, who was appointed senior vice president, CFO and treasurer in January 2001, plans to retire at the end of this year.

The company also announced that Jacuzzi’s Walnut Creek, Calif., headquarters will be relocated and consolidated into USI’s West Palm Beach, Fla., headquarters. This consolidation, to be completed later this year, will eliminate certain operating redundancies.

As part of this consolidation, Dorothy E. Sander, senior vice president/administration, has retired from USI. Sander’s responsibilities will be absorbed within the operations of the company.

Management also expects to record charges of $9 million in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2003, related to this consolidation. These charges are related primarily to employee severance, leases, and other consolidation costs.