Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Owner of famed furniture brands files for bankruptcy protection

Looking down the barrel of $280 million of debt, High Point furniture manufacturer Heritage Home Group filed for bankruptcy protection in late July in order to restructure the company and complete the sale of its brands, including Thomasville, Broyhill, Hickory Chair and Maitland-Smith.

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The Chapter 11 petition lists between $100 million and $500 million in both assets and liabilities for the company. Hickory-based RHF Investments, owner of the Shuford family’s Century Furniture, Hancock & Moore and Highland House, will buy the company’s Hickory Chair, La Barge, Maitland-Smith and Pearson brands for $17.5 million. In mid-June, HHG was in final negotiations with a buyer for its Thomasville and Broyhill business units.

“I can’t tell you how much I admire the Shufords and their Century Furniture,” says Jerry Epperson, an industry analyst in Richmond, Va. “A lot of people in the industry, including some competitors, will try to help these companies come back.”

Heritage Home plans to hold an auction within the next month to solicit competing bids for its remaining companies. The company also said PNC Financial Services Group is providing $98 million in financing related to the bankruptcy filing. That will boost the company’s liquidity by as much as $18 million as it restructures, according to HHG.

HHG’s sales have been declining rapidly over the last few years leading up to the Chapter 11 petition. Sales for the first five months of 2018 were down 27% compared with the previous year, according to a court filing by Chief Financial Officer Robert Albergotti, who was also named chief restructuring partner.

The company has about 1,520 employees in the U.S., including 775 in Lenoir, 450 in Hickory and 190 in High Point. It expects no material change in operations during the restructuring period.

“We are excited to have identified buyers for all of HHG’s brands and secured fresh liquidity to run this sale process,” Albergotti said in a press release. He is a managing director of turnaround consultants AlixPartners. “During this time, we remain firmly committed to producing and selling the high-quality products that our customers expect.”

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