• Cecile Corral

Milliken will Acquire Thomas Inds.

With its late-July filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, carpet manufacturer Thomas Industries, based here, has also filed to be acquired by diversified textiles supplier Milliken & Co.

Thomas Industries — which conducts its business under the Templeton Carpet, Monticello Floors, Mattel Carpet & Rug and Superior Yarn brand names — filed for Ch. 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Rome, Ga. on July 28. As part of a court-supervised open auction process, Thomas also asked to sell substantially all its assets to LaGrange, Ga.-based Milliken.

The bankruptcy court is expected to decide this motion in the coming six to eight weeks.

Russell Grizzle, president of Milliken Floor Covering, said the bankruptcy court has approved a working capital line of credit to allow Thomas to continue operating during the bankruptcy period.

"As a result, Thomas reports that it is currently paying suppliers and fulfilling current and new customer orders on a regular schedule in the ordinary course of business," he added.

Milliken said in a statement that it is pursuing the Thomas acquisition because it "sees strong synergies in a combination of the two companyies' products and capabilities."

Milliken intends to maintain Thomas' two plant locations here and operate them without interruption during integration of the firms.

Cecile CorralCecile Corral | Senior Product Editor, Home & Textiles Today

Cecile B. Corral has been a product editor with Home Textiles Today since late 2000. She covers the area and accent rug, kitchen textiles, table linens, beach towels, decorative bath and decorative pillow categories, as well as some retail subjects.

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