Sun Capital affiliate acquires controlling interest in Berkline BenchCraft
BOCA RATON, FL -- Sun Capital Partners, Inc., a leading private investment firm specializing in leveraged buyouts and investments in market-leading companies, today announced that one of its affiliates has acquired a controlling interest in Berkline BenchCraft Holdings, LLC. Berkline is a leading manufacturer of upholstered furniture in North America, marketing its product through its two principal brands, Berkline® and BenchCraft®. Berkline® is focused exclusively on motion furniture, such as reclining sofas, love seats and sectionals, recliners and home theater seating. BenchCraft® is focused primarily on stationary fabric and leather furniture. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

This transaction is part of a recapitalization which will also provide for an exchange of approximately $40 million of outstanding debt for new equity securities, as well as new financing for Berkline. In the past nine months, Berkline has reduced its cost structure through various strategic initiatives including: (i) closing or consolidating operations at four manufacturing plants; (ii) streamlining costs through more efficient sourcing and use of offshore operations; (iii) rationalizing product offering; (iv) adding key executive management; and (v) reducing significant fixed costs.

C. William Wittenberg, President and CEO, Berkline BenchCraft Holdings, LLC, said, "We are very pleased to be partnering with Sun Capital and believe that the combination of Sun Capital's financial resources and extensive operating experience in the furniture industry will support our efforts to refocus on our core competencies and to fund Berkline's ongoing product innovation and expansion."

Philip E. Brown, Vice President, Sun Capital Partners, Inc., added, "Berkline is an innovator and leader in motion furniture. We look forward to working with Berkline's management team and its dedicated employees to assist them in building a solid platform for strengthening the Company's brands."

Imperial Capital, LLC and Alvarez & Marsal served as financial and operational advisors to Berkline.

About Berkline BenchCraft Holdings, LLC:

Berkline BenchCraft Holdings, LLC is one of the largest independent suppliers of upholstered furniture in North America. Berkline is the leading manufacturer of upholstered motion furniture (sofas, love seats, and sectionals that recline), one of the three largest manufacturers of reclining chairs (recliners), and a major manufacturer and marketer of upholstered stationary furniture. Berkline employs approximately 3,200 people in its manufacturing facilities in Morristown, Lenoir City, and Livingston, Tennessee and Blue Mountain, Mississippi. It also maintains facilities in Toronto and Ville D'Anjou, Canada and sourcing operations in Hangzou and Dong Guam, China.

About Sun Capital Partners, Inc.:

Sun Capital Partners, Inc. is a leading private investment firm focused on leveraged buyouts, equity, debt, and other investments in market-leading companies that can benefit from its in-house operating professionals and experience. Sun Capital affiliates have invested in and managed more than 150 companies worldwide with combined sales in excess of $35.0 billion since Sun Capital's inception in 1995. Sun Capital has offices in Boca Raton, Los Angeles, and New York, as well as affiliates with offices in London, Tokyo, and Shenzhen.

Source: Sun Capital Partners Inc.

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