Over 149 Years of Service to the Furniture Industry

 Furniture World Logo

Fenway Partners Acquires Simmons Company From Investcorp: $500 Million Acquisition with Management Strengthens Fenway's Brand Portfolio

Furniture World News on

Fenway Partners, a New York-based private investment firm, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Simmons Company from Investcorp for approximately $500 million. Simmons is the largest branded bedding company in the world. The transaction, expected to close in the third quarter of 1998, involves the continuing participation of the company's senior management, Investcorp and Simmons employees through the companies ESOP. Upon completion of the transaction, an investment fund managed by Fenway will own approximately 71 percent of Simmons. Management, employees, and Investcorp will own approximately 29 percent. Fenway's equity investment will total approximately $110 million. "We are extremely excited to begin our partnership with Fenway," said Zenon S. Nie, Chief Executive of Simmons. "Fenway has a distinguished record of enhancing the value of well known brand names and we believe that there is ample opportunity to penetrate additional markets both in the U.S. and abroad." Richard Dresdale, a co-founder of Fenway, said, "The Simmons brand possesses strong global recognition and a reputation for quality and reliability. The combination of an accomplished and entrepreneurial management team, brand equity and industry growth support our enthusiasm for this investment. We view Zenon Nie and his management team to be unusually talented and poised to lead the company to further achievements." Christopher O'Brien, a member of Investcorp's Management Committee, said, "We are very pleased with the outcome of our investment and, in particular, the achievements of the company over the past few years. The company is a well-positioned leader in the industry with exciting new product offerings and attractive opportunities to grow geographically under the direction of an excellent management team. We are very pleased to continue our partnership with Simmons management and look forward to our association with Fenway Partners." Simmons manufactures a premium range of mattresses and box springs and related accessories such as frames. Simmons' sales in 1997 were $550 million. The company's well recognized brand names include Simmons, Beautyrest, BackCare, Connoisseur, Maxipedic and Beautysleep. Simmons' product lines are sold in the U.S. in department stores and other retail outlets, and around the world through international licensing agreements. Headquartered in Atlanta, Simmons was founded over 120 years ago and today manufactures its products in 18 facilities in the U.S. and licenses its products in 17 countries on five continents. The company's products are premium brands with high margins and are sold in high growth market segments. Simmons employs 2,800 people. Fenway Partners, Inc. is a private equity firm based in New York that has invested in business' with an aggregate transaction value of over $2.1 billion. The firm acquires equity interests in service, food and industrial companies with established reputations and widely recognized brands. Fenway provides management and strategic guidance to improve operating and financial performance of its portfolio companies, including Aurora Foods, which recently completed a successful initial public offering, Delimex, Iron Age, Central Tractor/Country General and Decorative Concepts, among others. Established in 1982, Investcorp is a global investment group which acts as a principal and intermediary in international transactions. To date, Investcorp has completed over 70 transactions with an aggregate value of approximately $12 billion. Investcorp and its clients currently own 17 corporate investments in North America and Europe, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Helly Hansen, CSK Auto, Star Market, the William Carter Company, Falcon Building Products, Welcome Break and Werner Holding Company. Previous investments include Gucci, Tiffany, Prime Equipment, Thorn-Lighting and Circle K.

Furniture World Magazine-Business solutions for furniture retailers