Furniture Brands wraps up operations

lane-furniture-logoDaily Journal

What remains of bankrupt Furniture Brands International will be overseen by a former officer of the company.

Last week, Furniture Brands completed the sale of most of its assets to KPS Capital Partners for $280 million. In the sale on Nov. 25, KPS got Lane, Broyhill, Thomasville, Drexel Heritage, Maitland-Smith, Henredon, Hickory Chair, Pearson, La Barge and Lane Venture.

Those companies are now controlled by a new umbrella company, Heritage Home Group.

As for what’s left of Furniture Brands, it is now called FBI Wind Down Inc.

Former FBI chief administrative officer, general counsel and corporate secretary Meredith Graham, 41, is leading FBI Wind Down as it closes its books and ties up loose ends. She’ll be paid her base salary of $286,000 on a pro-rate basis. She’ll be employed up to six months.

Lane Furniture Industries employed about 1,400 people in Northeast Mississippi prior to Furniture Brands’ Sept. 9 Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

It’s not known how many remain employed at Lane or at the other brands during the bankruptcy process. However, KPS said it would offer employment to most of the employees.

Once the asset purchase was complete, KPS swept out several executives who led Furniture Brands, including former CEO Ralph Scozzafava former CFO Vance Johnston. Also let go were the presidents of Lane and Hickory Chair.

In addition, the former board of directors for Furniture Brands – Ira D. Kaplan, Ann S. Lieff, Aubrey B. Patterson, Dr. George E. Ross and Scozzafava – resigned.

“This is the beginning of a new era for Heritage Home Group and its brands,” Raquel Vargas Palmer, a partner in KPS, said after the sale. “The company has a new owner, a new CEO, a new board of directors and a new strategic direction. Heritage Home Group launches with truly iconic brands, a solid financial structure and access to KPS’ financial resources and expertise.

“We strongly believe in the fundamental value of this business and the significant growth potential that can be unlocked through focused investment in our brands. We are proud to welcome the many Furniture Brands associates who are joining Heritage Home Group, and we look forward to working together to build a thriving and profitable company.”

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