HICKORY, N.C. – Samson Investment Holding Co., which operates Universal, Legacy Classic and Craftmaster, will acquire high-end furniture and upholstery manufacturer Baker and its Milling Road and McGuire brands from Kohler Co. Kohler has owned Baker since 1986 and McGuire Road since 1990.

Although not officially announced, a filing from Samson puts the purchase price at $35 million. The deal will close February 28.

Kohler says Baker, Milling Road and McGuire target the upper end/luxury niche of the market and will serve as a complement to other Samson companies which compete in the middle and upper price point segments of the home furnishings industry.

The sale of Kohler’s luxury lines means the company will exit the furniture manufacturing industry.

Kohler spokesman Todd Weber told the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel that after evaluating its furniture manufacturing business, it has “determined that it no longer aligned with the company’s strategy and core focus moving forward.”

In addition to the sale of the business, Samson can choose to purchase Baker’s 36-acre property in Hickory, N.C., which houses the company’s warehouse and distribution center. Samson can also choose to purchase Baker’s 750,000-square-foot case goods plant in Hildebran, N.C. – which employs around 200 – and two factories in Indonesia.

Kohler says the newly acquired brands will continue operating out of their offices and facilities in North Carolina and Indonesia, as well as showrooms in North America, England and France. The acquisition does not have any direct impact on any Samson Marketing companies or departments in the High Point, North Carolina, corporate office.

Kohler is perhaps best known for its brands in kitchen & bath, luxury plumbing, cabinets, lighting, vanities, and golf courses. The company operates 50 manufacturing locations across six continents, and employs over 30,000 workers.

Samson, with headquarters in China, is a leading furniture wholesaler and manufacturer for major retailers around the world. It also operates an upholstered furniture manufacturing facility in North Carolina. The company employs more than 800 workers in the United States. 

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