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Investment Firms Renew Agreement to Purchase the Assets of Norwalk Furniture

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The investment firms IRG Capital Group and Blackbird Capital Partners announced that they have renewed their pledge to purchase the assets of Norwalk Furniture Corp. by signing a revised letter of intent. The revised letter of intent was negotiated immediately after the initial letter of intent expired on August 15. The investors have since acknowledged that more time will be needed than originally projected to complete the required due diligence. "IRG Capital Group and Blackbird Capital remain committed to growing this company and positioning it for long-term stability," said Norwalk Chairman Jim Gerken. "We simply underestimated the time it will take to complete the transaction purchase." Former Chief Restructuring Officer Chuck Rowe will continue to work on the restructuring process. IRG and Blackbird signed the initial letter of intent on August 4, with an aggressive closing date anticipated 10 days later, on August 15. Terms of the revised letter of intent include most of the same terms and conditions as the original proposal, including a $2-million, low-interest state loan facilitated by the state of Ohio. A matching loan also was provided by Fulton, Mississippi, and the Itawamba County Development Council in Mississippi. IRG Capital Group, based in Akron, Ohio, is a private investment firm affiliated with Industrial Realty Group, which has controlling interests in a variety of operating entities across a broad industry range, including mining, trucking and food services, while actively seeking additional investment opportunities both in distressed businesses and venture capital scenarios. Industrial Realty Group (IRG), with projects in 22 states and affiliate management offices in New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Sacramento and Los Angeles, has over 30 years of adaptive reuse and historic preservation experience that, to date, totals over 70 million square feet of facilities, including numerous former corporate and government installations. IRG acquires, preserves, redevelops, cleans, repositions, and retrofits real estate assets for modern-day use by a sophisticated user base. Based in California, IRG is one of the largest full-service redevelopment companies in the United States. Blackbird Capital Partners is a private investment firm affiliated with Blackbird Capital Group in Cincinnati, which provides capital to, and acquires, distressed businesses. Blackbird invests in a wide variety of industries and currently owns controlling stakes in technology and paper converting businesses in Ohio. Norwalk Furniture Corporation, founded in 1902, makes quality upholstered furniture sold under the Norwalk, J. Raymond and Hickory Hill trade names. The company also has a network of retail stores, Norwalk - The Furniture Idea, throughout the United States and Canada.

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