Shenandoah Furniture, which has a plant in Mount Airy, is being sold to the Martinsville, Virginia-based Hooker Furniture Corp., according to multiple media reports.
Word came Thursday regarding a definitive agreement being reached for Hooker to acquire Shenandoah Furniture, which has an industry reputation as an upscale domestic upholstery manufacturer, for $40 million. The acquisition is expected to be finalized by Oct. 31.
Shenandoah Furniture is based in Valdese, in Burke County, with plants there and Martinsville in addition to the local one.
The Mount Airy facility is located at 109 Mountain View Road off U.S. 601, and is said to employ about 100 people. Shenandoah Furniture has had a presence there since 2013, when it bought the former site of Henredon Furniture, which had announced its closure of the 95,000-square-foot building earlier that year.
Attempts to reach Rocky Killon, the local plant manager, or other Shenandoah officials were unsuccessful Friday.
But reports regarding the sale indicate that no changes to Shenandoah’s operations are anticipated, and that was the hope Friday for Todd Tucker, the president of the Surry County Economic Development Partnership.
“I hope they will keep our operation here,” said Tucker, who heads the county’s top industry-recruitment and retention agency. “We’ve got a great work force that works in that facility — there are real craftsmen who work there.”
Tucker pointed out that the skills of those employees, who include former personnel of Henredon, are highly coveted. “That’s why Shenandoah came here.”
That quality of workmanship associated with Shenandoah Furniture apparently is also what attracted the purchase interest from Hooker Furniture. Hooker was incorporated in 1924 and is one of the top five sources for the U.S. furniture market.
A Hooker official — Paul B. Toms Jr., chairman and chief executive officer — was quoted in media reports as saying that “Shenandoah is a successful, growing, profitable company focused in a channel of distribution that is winning at retail, in which we are currently under-represented.”
Toms added that the “customizable upholstery” domestically produced by Shenandoah Furniture is highly desirable among end consumers in the marketplace.
Shenandoah Furniture began operations in Collinsville, Virginia, in 1981. The privately owned company built an additional plant in Martinsville in 1992 and added a third in Valdese in 2006.
It has specialized in manufacturing clean lined upholstered products in the upper-medium price range such as sectionals, sofas, chairs, ottomans, beds and dining chairs. It has supplied private labels which have included such entities as Crate and Barrel, Room & Board and Design Within Reach over the years.
The acquisition agreement by Hooker Furniture includes substantially all of the assets and certain liabilities of Shenandoah, according to reports.
“Our goal is that the acquisition be seamless to customers, employees and suppliers,” Toms is quoted in one report.
Shenandoah Furniture is expected to operate as a stand-alone, autonomous business, with its present management team intact. It includes President Candace Payne and Phil Payne, executive vice president.
Candace Payne has disclosed in media reports that Shenandoah will continue to operate as a family run enterprise and is she “excited” to be partnering with Hooker, with both having roots in the Martinsville area.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.