Electrify Gas Power Tools

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Stanley Black & Decker’s Jim Loree Has Big Plans To Electrify Gas-Powered Tools, Trimmers And Mowers​

Electrify Gas Power Tools: Under CEO Jim Loree, the venerable toolmaker Stanley Black & Decker has bet heavily on acquisitions as a way to power up the company’s growth. Last time, we checked in with him (for a 2018 magazine story) it was Craftsman, the tool line once revered by DIY-ers that had collapsed under the Eddie Lampert regime at Sears. Today, it’s MTD Products, a manufacturer of outdoor power and lawn care equipment whose brands include Cub Cadet, Troy-Bilt and Robomow.

Electrify Gas Power Tools

Electrify Gas Power Tools

The $14.5 billion (revenue) company announced its plans to acquire the 80% of MTD it didn’t already own at the beginning of the year, following a blockbuster second half of 2020 as homeowners and landlords alike focused on renovations. “We are going to pay a little around $2 billion for MTD and will get around $3 billion in revenue,” Loree says. “We negotiated a very good price for it.”

Price and size is one thing, but what MTD really gives Stanley Black & Decker is a giant base of gas-powered mowers, trimmers and the like. Tools that run on batteries are quieter and better for the environment than gas-powered ones, and the shift to them is already underway.

With the addition of MTD, Loree – who notes that he, too, hates the loud leaf blowers when he’s trying to relax at his Florida condo – plans to expand heavily into electric mowers, power washers and other outdoor products. Gas-powered trimmers, after all, aren’t just noisy, they’re also an environmental problem that, unlike automobiles, aren’t regulated. A gas-powered leaf blower, for example, emits as much carbon and other pollutants as driving a 2016 Toyota Camry on an 1,100-mile trip in just one hour, he says.

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