Group buys Powell assets
Linon CEO leads team of investors

MINEOLA, N.Y. – (August 10, 2009) - An investor group led by Linon Home Décor’s president and CEO has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of California-based importer L. Powell Co.

The purchase price and other terms of the deal were not disclosed. The previous owner was Sun Capital Partners, which had owned Powell since January 2007.

Jim Ziozis, president and CEO of Linon, will now also hold the same titles at Powell. Bill Benton, who had been with Powell as CEO since March 2004, has left the company.

Two current top Powell executives will report to Ziozis. They are Larry Woods, chief financial officer and chief operating officer and David Gingrich, senior vice president and mass channel manager.

Sean Slack, executive vice president of merchandising and marketing, and Tom Liddell, senior vice president of national sales, also are leaving Powell. Both told Furniture/Today they plan to help out with the transition over the next two weeks.

Ziozis said other investors with home furnishings industry experience also are part of the acquisition group, but he declined to identify them.

He said Powell, a 41-year-old leader in imported occasional, juvenile case goods and accent furniture, will be operated as a separate entity from Linon, an importer of ready-to-assemble furniture, area rugs and artwork.

“Powell’s global reach, scale, widely recognized brand name and customer relationships make it the ideal partner,” Ziozis said. “Our combined teams will create exciting growth opportunities for the new Powell Co., our customers and employees. We look forward to working with the Powell team, to ensure a rapid and seamless transition.”

Ziozis said Powell is “a great company with a good following and good people and a great brand name.… I am really excited about the opportunities ahead of us.”

Powell will keep its showrooms in High Point and Las Vegas, he said.

The purchase of the assets includes inventory, accounts receivable, intellectual property and trademarks, Ziozis said.

In a statement, the acquiring group said it will build on Powell’s customer relationships by “maintaining its rich platforms and systems, infusing necessary capital into the company, and expanding the product line.” It said Powell's products are sold by more than 2,500 retailers, including most Top 100 furniture stores and major chain retailers, and that the company is known for its innovation, speed to market and Asian infrastructure.

Ziozis said Powell is particularly strong in both youth and accent furniture.

“Powell has had strong success recently in better accent furniture,” Ziozis said. “Our intent is to continue to independently operate Powell and to preserve its successful and distinct brand identity and to focus on growing its core business.”

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