DALLAS, ST. LOUIS and FT. SMITH, Ark.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–August 31, 1995–Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Incorporated, of Dallas, a leading private investment firm, has acquired Crain Industries, Inc., of Ft. Smith, Arkansas, a leading manufacturer and fabricator of flexible polyurethane foam and foam products, it was announced today. Crain Industries, which was privately held, is the second-largest private company in the state of Arkansas. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Also participating in the transaction was Mills & Partners, Inc., of St. Louis, a management affiliate of Hicks Muse.
Founded in 1962 by H. C. “Dude” Crain, Crain Industries was initially engaged in the foam fabrication business. In 1974, Crain commenced foam manufacturing operations and has since expanded its manufacturing base through plant expansions and acquisitions. In the early 1980s, Crain began diversifying its product line to become a full line cushioning products supplier. Today, Crain Industries is the third- largest polyurethane foam manufacturer in the United States, with 1994 revenues of more than $230 million. Its EnviroCure manufacturing process is the only proven foam manufacturing method that satisfies the EPA Clean Air Act requirements slated to take effect beginning in 1997.
Crain Industries products are sold primarily to manufacturers and retailers in the furniture, bedding, packaging, carpet, health care, and recreational vehicle markets, and are used to form cushioning and stuffing for chairs, sofas, pillows, mattresses as well as in the manufacture of rebonded carpet underlay. The company has 24 plants in 13 states across the country, with a total of approximately 1,600 employees.
Jack Furst, a Managing Director and Principal of Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, said: “We’re very please to be acquiring Crain Industries, a major player in an important industry and a company that, in our view, has excellent growth potential. Crain’s nationwide production and distribution capabilities, technological leadership, customer relationships, and outstanding management team make this a valuable addition to the Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst investment portfolio.”
James N. Mills, Chairman of Mills & Partners, added: “Crain Industries offers excellent prospects for internal and external growth through the application of our proven buy-and-build philosophy. We look forward to working with Crain Industries’ experienced and successful management team to realize Crain’s full growth and earnings potential.”
Mr. Crain, 64, who will retire as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Crain Industries but continue to serve as a consultant to the company, said: “My family and I are very pleased to have established this relationship with Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst. Based on its past history and outstanding reputation, I know that this transaction will benefit our customers, our employees, and the communities in which we operate. I believe that Crain Industries will be in very good hands.”
Mills & Partners, Inc., founded in 1985 by James N. Mills, has participated in the acquisition and subsequent operation of several commercial and industrial companies controlled by Hicks Muse. Mills & Partners currently manages various Hicks Muse portfolio companies with total revenues in excess of $1.4 billion.
Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Incorporated is a leading private investment firm. Over the past five years, Hicks Muse has completed, or currently has pending, more than 40 transactions with an aggregate value of approximately $5.0 billion.
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