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From Home Furnishing Business

La-Z-Boy to Acquire U.K. Licensee; Buys 9 Retail Stores in Pennsylvania

La-Z-Boy (LZB) announced it has agreed to acquire the license for the La-Z-Boy brand in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and also said it has completed the purchase of nine La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries retail stores from an independent dealer in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The company said the two businesses have annual sales of about $77 million. But because the company already records a portion of those sales in its wholesale upholstery segment, the acquisitions will add about $41 million in incremental sales at current exchange rates.

La-Z-Boy didn’t disclose the purchase price of either transaction.

In the U.K. deal, La-Z-Boy will take over the license from Furnico Ltd., who has been its sales and distribution partner in the region for the past eight years, on Jan. 1.

The new operation will be known as La-Z-Boy U.K. Ltd., and will be headed by Keith Wilson, a former executive with Calligaris who will be director of the company’s U.K. and Ireland business. He will work closely with Jeff Lillich, who heads La-Z-Boy’s Europe, Middle East and Africa business.

Doug Collier, La-Z-Boy’s senior vice president, chief marketing officer and president of international operations, said, “Furnico has done an amazing job in growing the business and we intend to further enhance our position in the market by making investments in the brand and our digital presence.  We thank David Winter, Paul Riding and the rest of the Furnico team for the outstanding work they have done, and look forward to a great future for the business.”

The company said the La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries stores were acquired from Alyssa and Frank Hager, who are retiring.

The Hagers opened their first store in Wilkes Barre, Pa., in 1997 and now operate seven stores in northeastern Pennsylvania and additional stores in the nearby cities of Dover, N.J., and Middletown, N.Y.

The company said the acquisition was a “mutually agreed-upon decision that selling the stores to La-Z-Boy Incorporated would be in the best interest of their employees while providing for the greatest stability and continuity of the business.”

“The nine stores acquired are profitable, and will be quickly integrated into our retail segment and be accretive,” said Kurt Darrow, La-Z-Boy’s chairman, president and CEO. “I would like to take the opportunity to thank Alyssa and Frank Hager. They have been great partners, steadily building their business throughout their almost 20-year tenure, and we wish them all the best in their much-deserved retirement.”

The company-owned retail segment now includes 132 of the 343 La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries stores.

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