— Bassett Furniture Industries is among  equity holders in a newly-launched  home furnishings  exhibition organization, International Market Centers, L.P. (IMC). Formed with an investment structure of approximately $1 billion, it unites the furniture and home decor showroom assets of High Point, NC and Las Vegas - sites of the High Point Market and Las Vegas World Market.

IMC is majority owned by funds managed by Bain Capital Partners and a subsidiary of certain investment funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P.

Manufacturer and retailer Bassett Furniture Industries (NASDAQ: BSET), which  was the largest shareholder in the High Point International Home Furnishings Center prior to IMC acquisition, holds an equity position in the new organizatin, along with Related Companies and affiliates of Network World Market Center.

In the transaction, IMC’s acquired 13 buildings  encompassing  10.6 million gross square feet, includes eight High Point, NC properties at the International Home Furnishings Center and the Market Square Complex  and five buildings at the World Market Center Las Vegas buildings. 

The newly formed IMC says it will acquire five additional buildings by the need of June, for a total of 18 showroom buildings spanning 11.5 million square feet. 

IMC is led by CEO Robert Maricich, president and CEO of World Market Center since 2008 and previously president and CEO of Hickory, NC-based Century Furniture Industries.
"We are confident in the future of this industry and the unprecedented platform that the combination of High Point and Las Vegas Markets presents," said Maricich. "We are bringing together the best minds in the business, the most coveted properties and the deep financial and operating resources of leading firms who share our optimism about our industry’s growth prospects."
Oaktree is a global alternative and non-traditional investment manager with $82 billion in assets. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the firm has approximately 600 employees and offices in 13 cities worldwide.

Related Companies, headquartered in New York City, Related has offices and major developments in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco and South Florida, employs  2,000 managing   real estate assets valued at over $15 billion.
The deal resets the home furnishing industry's exhibition platform. Two of the investors - Network World Market Center, the original founders of World Market Center Las Vegas -  and Related Companies, had a hand in World Market Center Las Vegas and helped steer the deal.  

 Bassett holds stake in $1B furniture expo centers
 Bassett holds stake in $1B furniture expo centers
 Bassett holds stake in $1B furniture expo centers
International Home Furnishings Center Top and bottom: (top), and Showplace (bottom), High Point, NC; and World Market Center, Las Vegas.

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