Kiam Won’t Comment on Rumored Sale of Remington Stake
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) _ Victor Kiam denied a published report Thursday that he is planning to leave Remington Products Inc., but remained silent on another report that he has sold up to 50 percent of the shaver company.
Kiam, who bought Remington Products in a $25 million leveraged buyout in 1979, became known to millions of television viewers as the bathrobe-clad, gravelly-voiced salesman who proclaimed, ″l liked the Remington shaver so much, I bought the company.″
Kiam began looking for an investor, buyer or partner for Remington last fall to help finance the New England Patriots, his National Football League team.
Kiam sold his 51 percent share of the team in May after losing more than $20 million during his three years as owner. He said then that he sold the team to save Remington, a Bridgeport-based company that employs about 1,400 people worldwide.
Housewares Executive, a trade journal, reported in its Aug. 31 issue that Kiam recently sold as much as a 50 percent stake in Remington to New York businessman Isaac Perlmutter for $20 million to $30 million.
Kiam on Thursday refused to comment on the report. He was quoted in The Wall Street Journal as denying that Perlmutter’s investment was that large.
But a source who asked not to be identified told The Associated Press on Thursday that Kiam has sold a large stake in Remington to restructure the company’s debt.
Kiam said he will hold a news conference Sept. 17 to ″set the record straight as to exactly what has happened.″ He said Gov. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. and Bridgeport Mayor Joseph P. Ganim will attend the news conference.
Kiam denied Housewares Executive’s report that said he would soon be leaving Remington, the world’s second-largest manufacturer of electric shavers.
″There’s been a report that I am no longer staying with the company and that is totally erroneous,″ he said.
The state last December approved $15 million in financing, including $5 million in direct loans and $10 million in guaranteed loans, to restructure Remington’s debt.
Joseph Cohen, a spokesman for the state Department of Economic Development, said Thursday that package has been revised.
The plan now is for all $15 million to come in the form of loan guarantees. Remington would borrow the money from a lending institution and the state would guarantee the loans.
Cohen wouldn’t comment on reports that Kiam has sold a large stake in the company. He did say, however, that the state is ″very confident that Remington will remain in Bridgeport and continue to be a major employer.″