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From Home Furnishing Business

Kindel Acquires Karges

Luxury furniture manufacturer Kindel Furniture Co. has signed a purchase agreement to acquire the assets, intellectual property and operations of Evansville, Ind.-based Karges Furniture, a 128-year-old producer of luxury hand-made furniture.

Kindel, founded in 1901 and based in Grand Rapids, Mich., is a family-owned furniture maker known for 100 percent American-made, luxury furniture. Karges is also family owned and American made.

“Karges is one of the great furniture brands, a name that represents American craftsmanship, quality and elegant, timeless design,” said James A. Fisher, chairman of Kindel. “Our desire is to invest in the Karges brand and continue the tradition of craftsmanship carried forth by five generations of Karges family ownership. Not only does it ensure the continuation of the Karges brand, but it strengthens the Kindel brand because we share the same values of American hand craftsmanship. 

“I am happy to announce that Gretchen Keith--the great, great grand-daughter of Karges Founder Albert Karges--will be joining our Kindel team as vice president of marketing and sales.”

Both brands share  history of custom design and manufacturing capability.

“While it’s bittersweet to sell a family-owned business, we believe Kindel is the right company to carry on the Karges tradition,” said Joan Karges Rogier, president of Karges Furniture. “Kindel’s reputation for hand craftsmanship and superior attention to detail combined with its manufacturing and marketing resources provide a strong platform to bring Karges to a broader audience for many years to come.”

The growth opportunities for both Kindel and Karges include expanded distribution domestically and internationally, increased marketing, increased sales representation to better service customers, collaboration on best practices for executing complex design and cabinetry, and expansion of specialty finishes. 

Kindel Furniture Company remains one of the few furniture brands still known for bench assembly, hand-selected veneers, hand-carving, hand-painted decoration and hand-rubbed finishes.  In recent years, Kindel has broadened its product line to appeal to interior designers, architects and high-end consumers in the United States and abroad. Kindel’s newest launch includes the Robert A.M. Stern Collection, which combines the high standards of the world-renowned design firm with the unsurpassed craftsmanship of the Kindel artisans. In 2012, Kindel received a special 100th Anniversary Award from Made in America, a not-for-profit education organization that honors companies annually which contribute to the American enterprise system.

The transaction with Karges is effective immediately, and the current backlog of business will be completed in its Evansville operation and Kindel’s factory in Grand Rapids. Production operations will be fully transitioned to Kindel by fall of 2014.

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