Sure Fit Sold

Bankrupt furniture slipcovers manufacturer/marketer Sure Fit has been sold. The D.E. Shaw Group, which in January bought toys cataloger/retailer FAO Schwarz out of bankruptcy, on Aug. 11 bought the assets of Sure Fit. Shaw’s D.E. Shaw Laminar Portfolios unit, which restructures distressed companies, will operate Sure Fit.

Sure Fit, which filed for Chapter 11 in March, will continue to operate call and distribution centers in the Allentown, PA, area and will maintain marketing, sales, sourcing, product development, administrative, and financial staff in New York and Pennsylvania. The company’s previously announced plan to close a manufacturing plant in Allentown and lay off 140 employees by October will remain in effect.

The sale price includes $16.5 million in cash plus the assumption of approximately $4 million in operating liabilities. In addition, a wholly owned subsidiary of D.E. Shaw Laminar Portfolios has agreed to provide a $10 million line of credit to Sure Fit. The acquisition was approved by Judge Burton R. Lifland of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, on Aug. 5. Sure Fit, which launched its consumer catalog and Website in 1997, reported overall sales of more than $150 million in 2003.

Shaw has hired Salo Grosfeld, president of Miami-based home textile firm J.R. United Industries, to be Sure Fit’s new CEO. He will continue to run J.R. United, which has no affiliation with Sure Fit or Shaw. Former Sure Fit CEO Bert Shlensky “is expected to stay on at the new company in an advisory role,” according to a Shaw statement.

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