Furniture Brands International renamed, executives out

Daily Journal

Furniture Brands International has a new owner, new name and a new chief executive.

KPS Capital Partners bought bankrupt Furniture Brands for $280 million on Friday, and on Monday it renamed the company Heritage Home Group.

Also, former CEO Ralph Scozzafava is out, as is former Lane Furniture Industries president Dan Masters.

Lane is a subsidiary of HHG. At the time of the Furniture Brands bankruptcy, it employed about 1,400 workers at its manufacturing plants in Belden and Saltillo, its office and warehouse in Verona and a warehouse in Wren.

KPS said Scozzafava resigned Monday morning, and it named turnaround expert Ira Glazer as the new CEO.

“This is the beginning of a new era for Heritage Home Group and its brands,” said Raquel Vargas Palmer, a partner in KPS. “The company has a new owner, a new CEO, a new board of directors and a new strategic direction.”

Furniture Brands filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sept. 9. The company last made a profit in 2006. Scozzafava had led the company since 2008.

During his tenure, Furniture Brands lost traction, piling up a combined $622 million in losses. The company fell from its perch as the nation’s largest furniture manufacturer, seeing its sales plummet from $2.4 billion in 2006 to just over $1 billion last year.

Glazer, who has worked with KPS before, was most recently CEO of WireCo World Group.

“Free of Furniture Brands’ burdens and liabilities, and with a rock-solid balance sheet and many outstanding associates who are joining our company, we have an exceptional opportunity to build a true industry leader,” Glazer said.

Masters joined Lane in May 2012, and was named president in August of that year. He told Furniture Today said he had “no hard feelings” toward KPS.

“The KPS people came in and are interested in making an investment in the company and I obviously didn’t fit into the plan,” he said. “I have no hard feelings, but I am disappointed I wouldn’t be able to accomplish what they were looking for.

“They are straight-up people, and the decision was made based on whatever input they got from Ralph as it relates to me. They came in today and have taken control and are moving quickly and decisively.”

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