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Mohawk purchases Columbia Flooring assets
Article Number: 2124
  

Mohawk intends to maintain the Columbia brand.
Calhoun, Ga.—Mohawk Industries has marketed and sold hardwood flooring under its name for about a decade. Now it is also a manufacturer. Late last month, the company announced it had entered into as asset purchase agreement with Columbia Forest Products for its wood flooring plants and working capital, including the Columbia brand name when it comes to hardwood floors. No financial terms of the deal were given other than it is expected to close sometime during the third quarter.

The assets include four manufacturing facilities—two prefinished solid plants, one engineered in the U.S. and an engineered plant in Malaysia.

The combined output for these operations represent approximately $180 million in annual sales. Because Columbia was Mohawk’s biggest supplier of wood flooring, the entire $180 million will not be accretitive to Mohawk’s yearly wood sales, which were approximated at $170 in 2006.

Mohawk stated the four facilities “are currently experiencing losses…[but] are not expected to be material to Mohawk’s results.”

Jeff Lorberbaum, Mohawk’s chairman and CEO, said that over the next two years the company plans to invest “some additional capital to achieve a lost cost position in the market.”

In commenting on the acquisition, he said, “Columbia has been an important supplier to Mohawk since we began distributing wood products. These are excellent assets that are operating at about half their capacity. This acquisition enables us to fully participate in the wood flooring market which is anticipated to grow at 6% to 8% over the long term.”

Lorberbaum added that similar to its acquisitions of Unilin/Quick•Step and Dal-Tile, the company “will continue to support the Columbia brands sold through independent distributors and enhance the product portfolio. This purchase is another key element in Mohawk’s strategy to offer a total floor covering solution to our customers.”

Mohawk already had a presence in every floor covering category prior to the purchase. But with this acquisition, it will now be able to manufacture each type with the exception of resilient, which is supplied from Congoleum Corp.

In other news, as part of a larger consolidation effort, Mohawk is closing its tufting operation in Rome, Ga. Early this year, the manufacturer announced its plans to close the plant’s dying section. That operation employed approximately 22 people. According to The Rome News, about 35 people worked in the tufting section.

The paper noted that Mohawk intends to shift the dye house operations to other facilities and the tufting portion will be integrated by the company’s Eton, Ga., facility.

Mohawk said it is working with employees to place them in other positions within the company.
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Date
7/10/2007 1:04:42 PM
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