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Ashley to pay $6.07 million for Berkline IP assets

Heath E. Combs -- Furniture Today, August 11, 2011

WILMINGTON, Del. — Ashley Furniture Inds. emerged on Thursday as the winner of a bidding process for the intellectual property of bankrupt upholstery importer and producer Berkline BenchCraft Holdings.

Berkline ceased operations in late March.

Ashley's winning bid was $6.07 million. Other bidders included Best Chairs and Li & Fung, according to officials with Streambank, the advisory firm retained to sell the intellectual property assets.

Furniture/Today reported in July that Ashley initially bid $850,000 for the intellectual property, which includes the Berkline and BenchCraft trade names as well as patents, trademarks and Internet domain names owned by the company.

A court hearing to confirm the sale will be held on Friday. Ashley officials were unavailable at press time to comment on future plans for the property.

Berkline ceased operations three days before the start of the spring High Point Market after several failed attempts to find a buyer or secure additional financing. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 2.

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