Archive for the ‘Saltillo’ Category

Furniture Brands reaches pension settlement

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Furniture Brands Wind Down Inc., the remnant of bankrupt Furniture Brands International, has reached a deal with its creditors and the  federal Pension Benefit Guaranty CorpHeritage Home Group logo

The settlement, which still needs court approval, has the PBGC reducing its claim against the company from $340 million to  $300 million.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sept. 9. Most of its assets were purchased by KPS Capital Partners, which created Heritage Home Group to serve as the new parent company for Lane, Broyhill, Thomasville and other former FBI companies.

Lane, headquartered in Tupelo, employs several hundred at its Tupelo plant. It recently closed its Saltillo plant, laying off 480 people, and its Verona facility is up for auction.

In November, the PBGC said it would pay $270 million of FBI’s pension costs.

PBGC said it would pay up to the maximum of  $57,500 a year to retired Furniture Brands  employees. The company has about  19,000 current and future retirees. When it filed for Chapter 11, Furniture Brands said it owed $609 million in benefits obligations, but it was only funded about 55 percent, according to PBGC.

In addition, the creditors and PBGC have agreed on a liquidation plan, and if the proceeds are more than $20 million, minus fees and other expenses, then 20 percent of  the PBGC’s share will be made available to unsecured creditors.

A hearing will be held April 28 on the settlement.

Written by Dennis Seid

April 7, 2014 at 10:47 am

Heritage Home Group closing another furniture plant

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Heritage Home Group, the parent company of Lane, Broyhill, Thomasville,Drexel Heritage, Henredon, Pearson, Hickory Chair, Lane Venture, Maitland-Smith and La Barge brands, is closing the Pearson plant in High Point, N.C., according to the Lenoir News-Topic. Heritage Home brands

The closure, to be completed by August, will put 86 people out of work.

Heritage Home, which took over the assets of bankrupt Furniture Brands International after it was purchased by private-equity firm KPS Capital in a bankruptcy auction last fall, also announced in January the closure of two Thomasville plants in Thomasville, N.C., resulting in 84 layoffs.

It also said in January it would close Tupelo-based Lane Furniture‘s plant in Saltillo.That move resulted in the  layoff of some 480 people on March 21.


Written by Dennis Seid

March 29, 2014 at 3:07 pm

FMC Technologies’ Tupelo plant sold

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FMC Technologies is selling its material handling products business, which includes what it calls its Tupelo plant (it’s actually near Saltillo), to Levine Leichtman Capital Partners FMC Technologies logo

It will rename the business Syntron Material Handling, and it will have its headquarters in Tupelo, the company said.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, is expected to be completed in the second quarter.

According to LLCP:

The material handling business, part of FMC Technologies’ Energy Infrastructure segment, has a long history of providing bulk material handling solutions to industries worldwide. The business – which is headquartered in Tupelo, Miss., and has operations in Changshu, China and Salt Lake City, Utah, and sales personnel in Germany, Mexico, Singapore and Canada – manufactures a diversified product line of conveyor and vibratory equipment used to load, transport and feed bulk materials.

FMC Technologies will retain its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) systems business supplying material handling systems and equipment to various industries around the world. It is headquartered in Chalfont, Pennsylvania, and has a sales office in Santiago, Chile. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dennis Seid

March 24, 2014 at 12:56 pm

Hopeful laid-off Lane employees attend job fair

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Last month, the parent company of Lane Furniture Industries stunned the employees at Lane’s Saltillo plant, announcing it would be closed by March 21. Heritage Home Group said “business circumstances” forced it to make the decision.

The decision meant 480 people would be laid off. Lane job fair

Many of them are looking for jobs, and on Wednesday, a job fair at Itawamba Community College’s Belden campus  provided hope for some of them. About a dozen companies, including several furniture manufacturers, attended.

“I worked at Lane for 28 1/2 years – it’s all I’ve ever known,” said Gladys Clark. “It’s harder to get a job when you’re older, but I’m going to get a job wherever I can find it.”

Clark, like most of her colleagues at Lane, thought they had been given s second chance when private equity firm KPS Capital bought the assets of the former Furniture Brands International, which had gone bankrupt. The company said late last year that it would offer jobs to most of the 4,000 employees of Furniture Brands, whose companies included Lane, Broyhill, Thomasville, Drexel Heritage and others.

So the announcement in January that Lane’s Saltillo plant would close caught many, including Clark, off guard.

“It was a slap in the face,” she said. “Some were transferred to Belden, and I thought I’d go, but I wasn’t. My last day was Feb. 13.” Read the rest of this entry »

CDF: Opportunities for Lane employees available

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Along the lines of a story we had a few weeks back, the CDF  reminds soon-to-be unemployed Lane Furniture Industries employees in Saltillo that there are job opportunities available: CDF logo 2

From the CDF:

Northeast Mississippi industries can absorb many, if not all of the 480 people laid off as a result of Lane Furniture Industry’s recent Saltillo facility closure. Among those hiring are Ashley Furniture Industries, Prime Hospitality Group, American Furniture, and H.M. Richard’s.

“The furniture industry in Northeast Mississippi is very healthy and many of these dislocated workers will have the opportunity to stay within the furniture sector,” said Community Development Foundation President David Rumbarger. “It is the work ethic of hard workers like those at Lane and others that have made the furniture business in Northeast Mississippi the largest cluster of companies.”

Many industries ask job seekers to apply on site while others are utilizing the WIN Job Center to facilitate its hiring process. The intent of the WIN Job Center is to simplify all programs under a single, comprehensive system. The Mississippi Department of Employment Services and The WIN Job Center will hold four Rapid Response sessions Wednesday, February 26, from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. as well as a job fair from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. All events will take place at the WIN Job Center’s Belden location and are available for former Lane employees only. Over 15 employers will be present. For more information, visit Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dennis Seid

February 24, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Saltillo-based Bauhaus USA to be sold off by La-Z-Boy

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La-Z-Boy Inc. is selling Bauhaus USA Inc., one of its upholstered furniture manufacturing divisions.Bauhaus USA logo

Bauhaus, which was founded in 1989 in Saltillo, was acquired by La-Z-Boy for $60 million in 1999.

Bauhaus, which has a 200,000-square-foot plant in Saltillo, offers a range of mostly contemporary sofas, sectionals and occasional chairs  to customers in the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Far East.

La-Z-Boy Chairman, President and CEO Kurt Darrow said the company no longer fit into its business model.

From La-Z-Boy’s perspective, with our emphasis on integrated retail, Bauhaus is not a strategic fit from a size perspective in terms of its revenue or earnings and we believe our resources will be further enhanced by narrowing our focus to our core business strategy.”

While terms were not disclosed, La-Z-Boy is selling Bauhaus to an investor group led by Bauhaus President Britt Allred.

Said Darrow: “We are pleased to have the opportunity to sell Bauhaus to an investor group that will provide continuity and Bauhaus-Royal-Oak-Chairseamlessness to all its customers through the transition period to new ownership.  I am confident Britt and his team will ensure customers receive the same level of innovation and service from Bauhaus that they have come to expect and we wish the new ownership group and employees all the best going forward.”

The deal should be completed by the end of La-Z-Boy’s fourth quarter, which is in April.

La-Z-Boy’s remaining brands in its upholstery division includes its namesake brand and England. The company also has a case goods  division that includes American Drew, Lea, Hammary and Kincaid.


Written by Dennis Seid

February 15, 2014 at 6:00 am

McCullough Crossing retail center in Tupelo gets first tenant

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McCullough Crossing, a retail development at the Coley Road-McCullough Boulevard intersection in west Tupelo (or Belden, if you prefer) is beginning construction of its first phase soon.

The 12-acre development is behind BNA Bank and Old Venice Pizza.McCullough Crossing

In about six weeks, a 7,000-square-foot building will be home to Mi Toro, a Mexican restaurant with drive-thru. Two other spaces, possibly a dry cleaner and a sandwich shop, will occupy the other spots.

A second building, about 6,000 square feet, will be a professional office complex with a pharmacy – complete with drive-thru as well – a dentist and another provider.

But the cornerstone of the development, will be  a long-awaited grocery story if things work out.

Tupelo attorney Mike Greer is behind the project, something he and business partner Clyde Whitaker had dreamed about several years ago before Whitaker passed away and the recession hit.

The McCullough Crossing website says, “This was a dream of my late partner, Mr. Clyde Whitaker and now I’m excited to be able to make his vision a reality. With the continued residential growth due to The Tupelo Airport, Tupelo Country Club and Tupelo Furniture Market, as well as, the expansion of an already massive Toyota affect, and the upcoming completion of the Northern Loop, Belden’s McCullough Crossing is in the epicenter of this growing area. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dennis Seid

February 5, 2014 at 2:10 pm