ASHEBORO — An offer to purchase Prestige Fabricators, a subsidiary of Klaussner Furniture, has been accepted by the Superior Court judge overseeing the Klaussner bankruptcy proceedings.
Klaussner Furniture had closed its doors on Aug. 7, including Prestige Fabricators, which produced foam and fiber for furniture. The more than 800 employees immediately were laid off permanently, according to a letter from the company, which claimed that its “lending source has unexpectedly refused to continue to fund the Company’s operations.” And that, “As a result, the Company can no longer sustain the operations. …”
According to documents filed in the Superior Court of Judge Michael L. Robinson in Winston-Salem, the bankruptcy receiver, Michael Grau and Canadian company VPC Group agreed to terms for the purchase of all Prestige assets at 905 NC 49 S., Asheboro. Responding to the motion to sell, Judge Robinson wrote, “The Motion is hereby granted.”
VPC Group had offered one of two bids for Prestige. It’s offer of $7 million, with a down payment of 10 percent, was found to be “significantly greater than the amount the Receiver could achieve through a liquidation process,” according to a motion to sell.
In his approval of the sale, Robinson noted that “VPC intends to operate the Prestige Business and will hire a substantial number of former employees to work in the business.”
In a statement of facts provided to Robinson, VPC “intends to make offers of employment to all employees at Seller’s foam plant (approximately 27 employees) and to approximately 30 employees at Seller’s fabrication plant. …”
Kevin Franklin, president of the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation, has read the court documents concerning the sale of Prestige Fabricators. He said, “We were all shocked by the sudden closure of Klaussner” and its subsidiaries. “The opportunity to open a portion of the company is great news. People can go back to work and the buildings put back into productive use.”
Franklin expressed the hope that eventually all the Klaussner plants could be reopened and workers rehired. But the Prestige sale is just a small portion of the Klaussner assets.
The Prestige website says: “Since 1981, Prestige Fabricators, Inc., located in Asheboro, North Carolina, has manufactured and fabricated polyurethane foam, sofa sleeper mattresses, polyester fiber products, feather down products and synthetic fiber products for residential and contract upholstery furniture.”
Klaussner Furniture was founded in 1963 by Stuart Love as Stuart Furniture Industries. He sold the company in the early 1980s to Hans Klaussner, a German industrialist, and the furniture manufacturer thrived for the next few decades with as many as 3,000 employees.
The VPC Group website offers this information: “VPC’s beginnings can be traced back to fabrication in 1958. It was started as a private family business and expanded into foaming operations followed by fibre production. As our timeline shows, we have continued to expand ever since. Through our association with a global leader in urethane conversion and our acquisition of Valle Foam Ltd, VPC has grown to become Canada’s leading manufacturer of urethane foam products for the furniture, bedding and flooring industry.”
With headquarters in North York and Ontario, Canada, VPC has 11 foam locations in Canada as well as nine fiber locations in the U.S., including Conover, Statesville and Thomasville in North Carolina and Pontotoc and Tupelo in Mississippi.
For more information on the VPC Group, visit https://www.vpcgroup.com.