Thomas Industries Acquires Superior Yarn Technologies and Mattel Carpet & Rug
19 October 2004
Denver, CO and Dalton, GA
Thomas Industries, LLC, a newly formed company sponsored by JD Ford Holdings Co., LLC, together with co-investors lead by FR Private Equities, LLC, and Mr. Jerry Thomas, CEO of the Mattel Group, today announced that effective October 2, 2004, they have completed the acquisition of the assets of Superior Yarn Technologies, LLC and Mattel Carpet & Rug, Inc.
Headquartered in Dalton, Georgia, the “Carpet Capital of the World,” Superior Yarn Technologies is a leading manufacturer of solution dyed nylon, and other synthetic yarns, as well as staple fibers and geotextiles. Superior currently has the ability to annually produce over 70 million pounds of solution dyed yarn, which is a primary component in the tufting of carpets and rugs.
Mattel Carpet & Rug is a leading manufacturer of broadloom carpet for a variety of niche markets, including automotive aftermarket products, walk-off mats and multi-family housing. Mattel also develops innovative products based on its branded solution dyed yarns.
The Templeton Carpet Mills division of Mattel (www.templetoncarpet.com), is a premier supplier of carpet to the hospitality industry, with prestigious clients throughout the United States.
The formation of Thomas Industries is expected to streamline the operations of Superior and Mattel, which have historically operated as separate companies with shared ownership. Mr. Jerry Thomas, CEO of Thomas Industries, commented that, “bringing the two companies together as one will enable us to more effectively communicate to the market that we are a fully integrated supplier, from yarn production to finished carpet, and from design to delivery.”
Mr. Thomas also commented that the substantial experience and financial resources of JD Ford and FR Private Equities will help the business maintain its rapid growth and lead to even greater opportunities for the company and its nearly 700 employees.
Thomas Industries will operate Superior, Mattel and Templeton as independent divisions, and there will be few changes in day to day operations or customer service. Mr. Jerry Thomas will remain as CEO of the integrated companies, and his management team will remain intact.
Joseph Durnford, Chairman of JD Ford, said that, “by forming Thomas Industries, we are partnering with Jerry Thomas, a proven entrepreneur, whose passion for the industry, coupled with the streamlined business model, will propel the company to even greater success.” Mr. Durnford also praised the people of Superior, Mattel and Templeton, commenting that, “they are a great team, they are the best at what they do, and are genuinely some of the nicest people you will ever work with.”
John Strohm, Managing Partner of FR Private Equities, stated that the investment in Thomas Industries reflects his investment philosophy of partnering with good people in industries that have sustainable value, high barriers to entry, and that have a proven track record for high customer satisfaction. Mr. Strohm commented that, “this investment presents a unique balance of risk and return that is difficult to find and even harder to capture.”
Financial details of the transaction are not being disclosed. Financing for the transaction, as well as for operations will continue to be provided by Bank of America, GMAC and CIT, all of whom have long-standing relationships with the Mattel Group.
About JD Ford Holdings Co, LLC:
JD Ford Holdings Co, dba JD Ford & Company, is a specialized investment firm focused on privately held middle market companies, in the manufacturing, distribution, business services and specialty retail sectors. The Denver, Colorado based firm is involved in business development and merger and acquisition transactions throughout the United States.
About FR Private Equities, LLC:
FR Private Equities, LLC, a privately-held family investment company that focuses on investments in real estate and industries in high technology/wireless and manufacturing, with investments in various entities exceeding $100 million. FR Private Equities, based in Littleton, Colorado, is wholly-owned by Mary Pat Link and John Strohm.
CONTACT: Mr. Jerry Thomas, CEO Thomas Industries 1-706-275-8665; or
Mr. Joseph Durnford, Chairman JD Ford 1-888-999-9495 x2010.