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From Home Furnishing Business

Whitewood Industries Sold to ESOP

Whitewood Inds., a Thomasville, N.C.-based producer of case goods and contract upholstery, has been sold to an employee stock ownership plan.

Whitewood President Jorge Mata said the ESOP ensures the company’s long-term financial stability because ESOPs help align employee goals with company goals and improve organizational performance. It also helps employees meet long term financial goals as they prepare for retirement, he said.

Mata and Ron Feibel, who co-founded the company in 1982, said the transaction will allow employees "to become a financial participant in the success of Whitewood and to help grow the company both in profitability and in efficiency of operations and customer service."

Mata and Feibel will remain with the company in management positions.

To participate in the ESOP, employees must have worked at Whitewood for one year and be at least 21 years old.

The company’s divisions include Whitewood Ready-to-Finish, a supplier of unfinished furniture; casual dining producer John Thomas Furniture; specialty retail supplier International Concepts; and contract upholstery producer Custom Contract Furnishings.

The company has about 300 employees, and has manufacturing, warehouse, office and showroom space totaling about 578,000 square feet.

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