ST. LOUIS – Furniture Brands Int’l. Inc. said it plans to divest HBF, its business furniture operation, and focus on residential furnishings, according to The Business Journal. HBF, formerly Hickory Business Furniture, and HBF Textiles employ approximately 300 people at a factory in Hickory, NC. The company has not yet identified a buyer for the unit, and has retained Wachovia Securities to assist in the divestment, according to CEO Ralph Scozzafava.

“The decision to divest HBF puts our focus solely on residential furnishings, which is our heritage and core strength,” Scozzafava said.

Charlie Bell, HBF president, said the unit’s performance has been strong. “An experienced management team, a strong product pipeline and a commitment to quality make HBF well positioned to deliver continued solid financial results.”

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