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A.T. Cross Sells Accessories Business

Division was purchased by private equity firm Clarion Capital Partners for $60 million.

A.T. Cross Co. inked a deal to sell its accessories business for $60 million to an affiliate of New York-based private equity firm Clarion Capital Partners.

The accessories division includes Cross writing instruments, pen cases and wallets, watches, cuff links and other items. The transaction, which is still subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the third quarter. If the deal can’t close, such as due to the inability to obtain financing, Clarion would be obligated to pay A.T. Cross a $2 million termination fee.

Following the purchase, A.T. Cross will focus on its Costa and Native Eyewear sports sunglass brands. The company said its Cross Optical Group represented 46 percent of its 2012 revenue.

David G. Whalen, president and chief executive officer, said that after careful consideration of strategic alternatives available to the accessory division, the company’s board concluded that a sale of the business is the “best course to maximize value for our shareholders.”

He noted that the company will be working with the private equity firm to transition its employees, customers and suppliers over to new ownership.

Eric Kogan, a partner with Clarion Capital, said, “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.”