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Case Study

SC Johnson

Former candle factory requires unique negotiation and marketing of real estate and equipment

Tasked with selling two industrial buildings on two land parcels fixture and equipment assets specifically related to the specialty candle industry, JLL created a unique marketing strategy that helped S.C. Johnson maximize sales proceeds for all assets and minimize the impact on the community.


SC Johnson (SCJ), headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin, consolidated their candle manufacturing and identified excess capacity in New Hampton, IA.  In an effort to minimize the impact on the local New Hampton community, SCJ wanted to explore repurposing the factory with another candle manufacturer.  Exploring the potential sale of a turnkey operating, JLL was tasked to develop a multi-dimensional marketing strategy to reach out to manufacturers, equipment suppliers, auction companies, real estate investors and regional occupiers of industrial warehouse product.  The first sixty days focused on turnkey manufactures to step in and continue production; thereafter, asset disposition companies and real estate buyers were approached.  JLL began the bidding and valuation process of the fixed assets immediately to accompany a separate Broker Opinion of Value on the real estate holdings. 

JLL identified 1,500-2,000 manufacturing, wholesale and retail prospects in the candle industry and deployed a dual marketing strategy to attract global attention. Marketing efforts quickly narrowed in and focused 300 candle companies and seven equipment companies. Real estate interest included prospects from Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Arkansas and Texas. Three offers were submitted for the equipment package, two for equipment and real estate and three for real estate only. These submittal and separate independent valuations by two auction companies set the market expectations and pricing.


After much consideration, an asset disposition company was brought in to determine the value of the equipment, with exclusions for proprietary equipment patented by SCJ.  The client announced the plant closing in January, JLL interviewed in February, and was fully engaged by May.  This kicked off a sixty day marketing period to the candle industry concluding at the end of July.  Concurrently in this sixty day period, valuations were placed on the fixed assets which prepared the client to engage an auction company in August for the disposition of all fixed assets.  The auction occurred in September with a November close out.  The real estate sale went to the top buyer of three bidders.  JLL was able to connect the local buyer with two tenants to help solidify the purchase transaction. The sale transaction also closed in November shortly after the auction close out.

With JLL's expertise in mass marketing, real estate valuation, speed to market, buyer solicitation, quick response times, financial analysis, detailed reporting and dedication to the project, SCJ was able to explore all disposition options within a short six month time frame.  These efforts maximized the client’s gross sales proceeds, minimized the client’s holding costs and reduced the impact of the New Hampton community.   

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