ST. LOUIS, March 17, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Furniture Brands International (NYSE:FBN) today announced that the company has entered into a definitive agreement with HNI Corporation (NYSE:HNI) for the sale of its Hickory Business Furniture (HBF) unit to HNI for $75 million. The all-cash transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2008.
"HBF is an outstanding business, but it does not fit our strategic focus on the residential consumer market," said Chief Executive Officer Ralph P. Scozzafava. "HNI is a well-respected company in the office and commercial segment of our industry, and it will be a perfect 'home' for HBF and its talented associates.
"This divestiture will contribute to the steady strengthening of our balance sheet and enable us to focus on our core consumer brands," Mr. Scozzafava continued. "With the most cash and the least debt since the company recapitalized in 1992, Furniture Brands today is now even better positioned to execute our strategic plan."
About Furniture Brands
Furniture Brands International (NYSE:FBN) is a vertically integrated operating company that is one of the nation's leading designers, manufacturers, and retailers of home furnishings. With annual sales in excess of $2 billion, it markets through a wide range of retail channels, from mass merchant stores to single-brand and independent dealers to specialized interior designers. Furniture Brands serves its customers through some of the best known and most respected brands in the furniture industry, including Broyhill, Lane, Thomasville, Drexel Heritage, Henredon, Pearson, Hickory Chair, Laneventure, and Maitland-Smith.
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HNI Corporation is a NYSE traded company providing products and solutions for the home and workplace environments. HNI Corporation is the second largest office furniture manufacturer in the world and is also the nation's leading manufacturer and marketer of gas- and wood-burning fireplaces. The Corporation's strong brands, including HON(r), Allsteel(r), Gunlocke(r), Paoli(r), Maxon(r), Lamex(r), Heatilator(r), Heat & Glo(tm), Quadra-Fire(r), and Harman Stove(tm) have leading positions in their markets. HNI Corporation is committed to maintaining its long-standing corporate values of integrity, financial soundness and a culture of service and responsiveness. By doing so, in 2008 the Corporation was recognized by Fortune Magazine as one of America's Most Admired Companies. In 2007, the Corporation was recognized by IndustryWeek as one of the 50 Best U.S. Manufacturing Companies for the fifth consecutive year. HNI Corporation's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol HNI. More information can be found on the Corporation's website at www.hnicorp.com.
Furniture Brands International Jon Botsford 314-863-1100