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Linwood to liquidate assets

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Linwood Furniture, the North Carolina manufacturer founded six years ago, largely in an effort to keep Bob Timberlake furniture U.S.-made, is closing.
     A U.S. bankruptcy judge last week approved an order to convert Linwood's case to a Chapter 7 liquidation.
     Jeff Schwall, Linwood's president and CEO, told the Winston-Salem Journal that about 100 employees would lose their jobs.
     The U.S. bankruptcy court administrator had filed a motion last month to convert the case to Chapter 7 due to the company's continuing losses. The motion followed Linwood's failed attempt in August to sell its assets, which drew no bids. The company then halted most of its production pending the results of the hearing.
     Linwood filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.
     It launched in 2006, with the intention of keeping production of furniture designed by North Carolina artist Bob Timberlake in the former Lexington Home Brands Plant No. 2 in Lexington, N.C., which Lexington had closed the previous year.
     The last few years saw changes in ownership stakes and management at Linwood. The company tried to become an OEM manufacturer for hospitality furniture companies, which resulted in a high volume but low margin business, which helped drive it into bankruptcy.
     In its original Chapter 11 filing, the company listed about $3.7 million in assets and $6.9 million in debt.
     Timberlake and Century Furniture announced a licensing partnership in 2011, ending a 20-year association with Lexington.
     The Linwood factory had continued to make some Timberlake product for Century, as well as pieces for Calvin Klein and CR-Home.

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