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Blackstone To Acquire International Market Centers, Inc.

Furniture World Magazine

Furniture Industry News Update -

Blackstone announced recently that funds managed by Blackstone Real Estate Partners and Blackstone Tactical Opportunities entered into a definitive agreement to acquire International Market Centers, Inc. (“IMC”), the world's largest owner and operator of premier showroom space for the furnishings, home decor and gift industries, from Bain Capital Private Equity, LP and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. Fireside Investments is also expected to partner with Blackstone in the acquisition. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

International Market Centers, Inc. is the world's largest owner and operator of premier showroom space for the furnishings, home decor and gift industries, with 12.2 million square feet of world-class exhibition space in High Point, NC and Las Vegas, NV. The Company’s mission is to build and operate an innovative, sustainable, profitable and scalable platform for the furnishings, home decor and gift industries.

“This marks an exciting time for International Market Centers,” said Robert Maricich, Chief Executive Officer of IMC. “While Bain Capital and Oaktree have been great partners for the past six years, we look forward to this new relationship and our next phase of growth. Blackstone is a firm with a strong track record of enabling transformational change and shares our long-term vision for the business.”

“IMC has an excellent management team that has built a high-quality business and leader in the furniture, showroom, and gift industry exhibition space,” said Andrea Serra, a Managing Director in Blackstone’s Tactical Opportunities group. “By leveraging the scale of Blackstone’s platform and expertise in real estate investing, we look forward to partnering with IMC to help drive the company’s continued growth in the years ahead,” said Tyler Henritze, a Senior Managing Director in Blackstone’s Real Estate group.

“In forming IMC, we combined a number of assets and made significant investments in the High Point and Las Vegas markets. Today the business is a clear leader in the industry, with capabilities and reach that provide best-in-class productivity for the buyers and sellers who attend those markets,” said Ryan Cotton, a Managing Director at Bain Capital. “We are proud to have built IMC into a leading, high-performing business in partnership with Bob Maricich and his talented executive team. We believe the business we're leaving behind will remain robust and compelling for years to come,” said Phil Loughlin, a Managing Director at Bain Capital.

“Having partnered with Bob Maricich and Bain Capital at the creation of IMC, we are enormously proud of the enduring and essential platform this management team has built. IMC is well-positioned for the next phase of growth as the nexus of commerce for the furnishing, home décor and gift industries,” said Kaj Vazales, Managing Director at Oaktree.

The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2017, and is subject to customary closing conditions.

Allen & Company LLC and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as advisors to International Market Centers, Bain Capital and Oaktree. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as advisors to Blackstone and Fireside.

 



More about International Market Centers: International Market Centers, Inc. is the world's largest owner and operator of premier showroom space for the furnishings, home decor and gift industries, with 12.2 million square feet of world-class exhibition space in High Point, N.C. and Las Vegas, NV. The Company’s mission is to build and operate an innovative, sustainable, profitable and scalable platform for the furnishings, home decor and gift industries. Additional information about the Company is available at www.imcenters.com.

More about Blackstone: Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work. We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our asset management businesses, with over $360 billion in assets under management, include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. For more information, visit www.blackstone.com.

More about Fireside Investments: Fireside Investments is a private investment firm focused on making growth capital investments in durational real estate and related businesses alongside leading management teams and investment partners. Fireside’s founder and Managing Member, Jonathan Langer, was involved in the original formation of IMC.

More about Bain Capital Private Equity: Bain Capital has partnered closely with management teams to provide the strategic resources that build great companies and help them thrive since our founding in 1984. Our team of more than 220 investment professionals creates value for portfolio companies through our global platform and depth of expertise in key vertical industries including consumer/retail, financial and business services, healthcare, industrials, and technology, media and telecommunications. In addition to private equity, Bain Capital invests across asset classes including credit, public equity and venture capital, and leverages the firm’s shared platform to capture opportunities in strategic areas of focus.

More about Oaktree: Oaktree is a leader among global investment managers specializing in alternative investments, with $100 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2017. The firm emphasizes an opportunistic, value-oriented and risk-controlled approach to investments in distressed debt, corporate debt (including high yield debt and senior loans), control investing, convertible securities, real estate and listed equities. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the firm has over 900 employees and offices in 18 cities worldwide. For additional information, please visit Oaktree’s website at www.oaktreecapital.com.

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