• Clint Engel

Private equity firm acquiring American Freight

Steve Belford remains CEO, continues to hold stake in retailer

DELAWARE, Ohio — American Freight of Ohio, which operates more than 95 stores in 18 states, is being acquired by an affiliate of private equity firm The Jordan Company of New York.

Financial terms of the deal between the warehouse-style promotional to midpriced retailer and The Resolute Fund III, L.P. were not disclosed. However, the companies said American Freight founder and CEO Steve Belford will continue to hold a significant stake in the retailer along with certain other existing shareholders and members of the senior management team.

Belford said the Jordan Company will support expansion for the retailer, but did not disclose details. He and the rest of American Freight’s management will continue to lead the business.

Belford said the new partnership will help the retailer grow its business “and continue providing real value to customers.”

“Our mission to provide our customers high-quality furniture at low prices remains unchanged, and we will continue to expand our franchise with the same guiding principles that have served us well over the past 20 years,” Belford said in a release.

He told Furniture/Today, “We’re looking forward to some fantastic growth,” and said The Jordan Company has experience in dealing with large companies.

Founded in Lima, Ohio, in 1994, American Freight now operates nearly 100 stores selling a variety of mattresses and furniture, including bedroom, dining room and living room furniture in the promotional to middle price ranges.

Furniture/Today estimates the retailer did more than $200 million in furniture, bedding and accessories sales last year. It operates stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Some key suppliers include Serta in bedding and Simmons-brand mattresses and upholstery.

The Jordan Company, founded in 1982, is a middle-market private equity firm with about $8 billion of original capital commitments under management, according to a release.

“The firm has a 32-year track record of investing in and contributing to the growth of over 100 companies across a wide range of industries, including consumer, aerospace and defense, industrial manufacturing, packaging, automotive, chemicals, energy and telecom,” it said.

Brad Wilford, a partner at private equity firm, added, “We believe the company’s high quality product offering, unique retail layout and strategic footprint offers customers outstanding value, and we look forward to helping American Freight expand its store base.”

Clint EngelClint Engel | Senior Retail Editor, Furniture Today

Please feel free to email or call me with all of your retail news and tips, including expansion news, successful merchandising and marketing strategies and anything else you would like to see covered by Furniture/Today.  Contact me directly at cengel@furnituretoday.com or 336-605-1129.


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