LINCOLN, NE and TAMPA, FL – STX International, a leading supplier of industrial and commercial kitchen appliances and the owner of Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida have formed an unlikely team, as they attempt to synergize marketing and branding opportunities. Both organizations jointly announced today that Carole Baskin will acquire a minority stake in Mercantile Exchange 2, the parent company of STX International a marketed of meat grinders. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We see numerous ways to leverage Carole’s involvement in our organization, to help promote our industry-leading products, especially in our meat grinder segment,” said Steven Schrad, President and CEO of Mercantile Exchange 2. “She is a force to be reckoned with, from both a branding and a personal perspective.”
In a story broken last week by The Stonk Market, Big Cat Rescue is the new target of formidable corporate raider Carl Icahn. This move may be an attempt by Baskin to diversify and strengthen her holdings in an attempt to resist the hostile takeover bid.
Baskin denied any connection to the Icahn bid, saying instead that she sees a “healthy market” for meat grinders going forward. In an exclusive interview, she stated that “the pandemic has caused many organization to operate on a leaner budget, and we think that choosing to invest in a meat grinder will help many business trim excesses and reduce liabilities.”
She expects that a variety of commercial-grade meat grinders produced by STX International and branded with Big Cat Rescue and Carol Baskin graphics will be available for purchase through her online store and at retailers nationwide. “We are currently exploring a partnership with The Sharper Image. We have also reached out to Wayfair and Arby’s to discuss additional co-branding possibilities,” added Baskin.
Schrad said that his entire team in Lincoln is “energized” by the addition of Baskin as a minority owner. “Our STX Turboforce brand is already renowned across the country by the best chefs and top mafiosos for our quality and reliability. Carole’s national name recognition will bring our products out of the restaurants and backrooms, and into homes and the lives of families who wish to have the full â€˜Big Cat Rescue’ experience anywhere and with anyone.”
Baskin, notably, was the recipient of speculation that she utilized a meat grinder and her cadre of tigers to dispose of her former husband, who mysteriously disappeared in 1997, leaving behind no trace and a still-open investigation. Baskin’s current husband, Howard, was still unavailable for comment, but a spokesperson for Big Cat Rescue disclosed that he had recently left to pilot his private plane to Lincoln to “finalize some paperwork.”