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From Home Furnishing Business

Blackstone Agrees to Buy International Market Centers

International Market Centers, which owns the World Market Center in Las Vegas and about two-thirds of the showroom space in High Point, has agreed to be acquired by investment funds managed by Blackstone Real Estate Partners and Blackstone Tactical Opportunities.

The Blackstone entities have agreed to buy the company from private equity firms Bain Capital and Oaktree Capital Management. Bain and Oaktree have owned IMC since the company was formed in 2011.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter.

“This marks an exciting time for International Market Centers,” said Robert Maricich, CEO of IMC. “While Bain Capital and Oaktree have been great partners for the past six years, we look forward to this new relationship and our next phase of growth. Blackstone is a firm with a strong track record of enabling transformational change and shares our long-term vision for the business.”

Blackstone said another investment firm, Fireside Investments, is expected to be its partner in the acquisition. Fireside’s founder and managing member Jonathan Langer was involved in IMC’s formation.

“IMC has an excellent management team that has built a high-quality business and leader in the furniture, showroom, and gift industry exhibition space,” said Andrea Serra, a managing director in Blackstone’s Tactical Opportunities group.

“By leveraging the scale of Blackstone’s platform and expertise in real estate investing, we look forward to partnering with IMC to help drive the company’s continued growth in the years ahead,” added Tyler Henritze, a senior managing director in Blackstone’s Real Estate group.

IMC owns and operates about 12.2 million square feet of showroom space in High Point and Las Vegas. Its High Point properties include the International Home Furnishings Center, Market Square, Showplace, Furniture Plaza, Plaza Suites, National Furniture Mart, and C&D Building.

“In forming IMC, we combined a number of assets and made significant investments in the High Point and Las Vegas markets. Today the business is a clear leader in the industry, with capabilities and reach that provide best-in-class productivity for the buyers and sellers who attend those markets,” said Ryan Cotton, a managing director at Bain Capital.



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