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From Home Furnishing Business

Berkline/Benchcraft Announces Corporate Refinancing Plan

By Home Furnishings Business in Upholstery on March 2007 Berkline/Benchcraft, Morristown, Tenn., announced a plan Thursday that will provide it with $40 million in new financing. As part of its recapitalization plan, the company€™s €œstakeholders,€ which the announcement did not name, will exchange $40 million in outstanding debt for new equity securities.

The new capital will be used to support an operational reorganization that began in June 2006 and will fund product innovation and expansion.

€œThis agreement reflects our stakeholders€™ confidence in our ability to not only remain competitive in our market segment, but also to position ourselves for continued profitable growth,€ said William Wittenberg, president and CEO. €This new financing solidifies Berkline€™s status as a premier manufacturer of upholstered furniture in North America.€

Wittenberg said the company€™s reorganization over the past nine months has included closing or consolidating four factories; streamlining sourcing and usage of off-shore operations; integrating manufacturing operations and systems; rationalizing the company€™s product offering; and significantly reducing fixed costs.

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