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From Home Furnishing Business

Markor Bolsters U.S. Footprint with Rowe, Jonathan Charles Acquisitions

Chinese manufacturer and retailer Markor Home Furnishings, whose U.S. holdings include A.R.T. Furniture and Caracole, has added custom upholstery maker Rowe Furniture and high-end occasional furniture producer Jonathan Charles to its portfolio.

Markor said it acquired a 100% stake in Rowe, which had been owned by Sun Capital Partners since 2007, and took a majority stake in Jonathan Charles, which is based in Vietnam and will give the company synergy in manufacturing expertise between China and Vietnam.

Terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

Rowe’s management team, headed by CEO Bob Choppa, will remain in place and will oversee collaboration in the upholstery category among Rowe, A.R.T. and Caracole.

“This is the best possible outcome for our customers. The additional capital and global resources from this partnership will increase our competitiveness, allow us to enter new product categories, and achieve synergies with our new sister companies, Caracole and A.R.T.,” Choppa said.

Added Richard Feng, chairman and CEO of Markor, “This acquisition serves as a foothold into the U.S. market allowing us to provide competitive custom upholstery with short lead times to better serve our U.S. customers. Further, by leveraging Rowe’s expertise and manufacturing capabilities, we can create custom upholstery programs for A.R.T. and Caracole, making them a complete resource to serve their growing customer base.”

At Jonathan Charles, Feng said founder Jonathan Sowter will remain as president and creative director, and the line will be rebranded as Jonathan & Richard.

He said the acquisition will give Markor an increased assortment of unique products for all Markor global markets including its retail customers in the U.S. and international markets, as well as Markor’s company-owned retail stores in China.

“This partnership will allow us to expand our product lines, our marketing approach and the markets where we compete,” said Sowter. “Markor brings a wealth of resources in sales channels, management and logistics. I truly believe in Mr. Feng’s vision as a business leader and an artist, and I am very excited for our future with Markor.”

Founded in 1990, Markor has 10 factories in China and distributes its products in more than 48 countries. It also is one of the largest furniture retailers in China with more than 250 stores.

The company, which is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, has more than 13,000 employees.

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