• Thomas Russell

UPDATE: Samson, Baker officials comment on acquisition

Deal adds high end component to Samson's middle, upper middle brands, Legacy Classic, Craftmaster and Universal

UPDATE, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, 12:15 p.m.

HICKORY, N.C. -- Samson International Holding officials added that the acquisition also does not have any direct impact on Samson Marketing companies, which primarily fall within the middle to upper middle price points. In addition to the aforementioned brands, the company also has a youth furniture line called Legacy Kids, which too falls in the middle price points.

By comparison, Baker, Milling Road and McGuire focus on the luxury upper end segment, which targets high end retailers as well as designers.

Russell Towner, president of Baker, will continue to manage the business under the new ownership.

“We are thrilled to have found a buyer who appreciates our rich legacy of superior quality and exquisite design and can support Baker, Milling Road and McGuire in achieving their full long-term potential,” Towner said. “Samson has had a consistent and successful track record in the home furnishings industry, and we believe this move positions us for future success.”

Baker, which dates back to 1890, produces a line of high end case goods and upholstery under the Baker and Milling Road names. However, each brand also produces lines from well-known designers. For example, in addition to its Kara Mann collection, Milling Road launched its Darryl Carter collection last fall.

Baker’s designer lines include collections by Barbara Barry, Jean-Louis Deniot, Thomas Pheasant, Bill Sofield, Laura Kirar and Jacques Garcia to name several.

McGuire, which was founded in 1948, is known for its ability to mix various materials including rattan, leather and wood, into finished pieces that are made by hand by trained artisans. In addition to products designed under its own brand, it too offers designer lines by Barbara Barry, Bill Sofield, Jacques Garcia, Jonathan Browning, Steven Volpe, Laura Kirar and others.

In addition an option to purchase a 36-acre property in Hickory, N.C. that houses Baker’s warehouse and distribution center for $5.5, the $35 million deal includes Baker’s 750,000 square foot case goods plant in Hildebran, N.C., which employs about 200 workers. This facility produces Baker’s case goods line and also does custom finishing for McGuire and Milling Road, according to a source with Samson Investment Holding Company.

Samson officials did not provide any further immediate comment.

ORIGINAL STORY, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, 10 a.m.

HICKORY, N.C. – Samson Investment Holding Co., which operates Universal, Legacy Classic and Craftmaster, has agreed to acquire high end case goods and upholstery resource Baker and its Milling Road and McGuire brands from Kohler Company. Kohler has owned Baker since 1986 and McGuire Road since 1990.

Officials did not reveal a purchase price. However,a filing from Samson Holding estimates the purchase price at $35 million, which includes $5.5 million for the warehouse in Hickory, N.C. The deal is set to close Feb. 28, according to a statement issued by Kohler.

The statement said that the newly acquired brands will continue to operate their offices and facilities in North Carolina and Indonesia as well as their showrooms in North America, England and France.

Thomas RussellThomas Russell | Associate Editor, Furniture Today

I'm Tom Russell and have worked at Furniture/Today since August 2003. Since then, I have covered the international side of the business from a logistics and sourcing standpoint. Since then, I also have visited several furniture trade shows and manufacturing plants in Asia, which has helped me gain perspective about the industry in that part of the world. As I continue covering the import side of the business, I look forward to building on that knowledge base through conversations with industry officials and future overseas plant tours. From time to time, I will file news and other industry perspectives online and, as always, welcome your response to these Web postings.

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