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Furniture Brands Rejects Sun Capital Bid

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Furniture Brands International Inc. on Thursday rejected an unsolicited bid by Sun Capital Securities Group LLC to buy the furniture maker, saying it is committed to its strategic plan. Furniture Brands said the bid does not include an offer price and contains many caveats that make it difficult for the board to evaluate the offer. "We are executing a strong strategic transformation that is already creating value for Furniture Brands shareholders," said Ralph P. Scozzafava, vice chairman and chief executive, in a release. "We're on track with our own aggressive timetable to transform this company, and we're already seeing the positive results of our efforts. Sun Capital is aware of our strategic initiatives and has to date been supportive of the plan." "The board firmly supports the strategic plan," said Chairman W.G. Holliman, and, "is committed to creating long-term value for all shareholders." In a letter sent to Furniture Brands' board and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday, Sun Capital offered to buy the St. Louis-based company at a "substantial premium" to its stock's Tuesday closing price of $10.18. The Boca Raton, Fla.-based investment firm beneficially owns about 4.6 million shares, or a 9.5 percent stake in the company. Shares spiked $2.44, or 23.6 percent, to close at $12.78. Shares have traded between $6.82 and $17.94 in the past 12 months.

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