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Arley adds PFI bedding

Marvin Lazaro -- Home Textiles Today, February 12, 2001

NEW YORK -After several years of unsuccessfully trying to expand the fashion bedding aspect of its business, Perfect Fit Industries has sold it to the rapidly growing Arley Corporation.

The sale empowers Arley to enter a previously untapped product category and gives it entrée into parts of the mass market department store channel it had not previously done business with, said Michel Ohayon, president and ceo. Arley will ultimately coordinate its bedding line with its existing basic bedding, he said.

The sale to Arley enables PFI to concentrate on its key products, said Lou Morris, president and ceo of Perfect Fit.

Both declined to say how much Arley had paid to acquire that part of PFI's business.

"It's a very tough, competitive market out there," Morris told Home Textiles Today about the state of the home textiles business and his reasons for selling. "We had concluded several years ago, that in terms of our fashion bedding business, we needed to get significantly bigger or get out."

The New York-based Perfect Fit will continue to manufacture its core products of mattress pads and pillows as well as woven bedspreads, its Kennebunk throws, several electric products and its made-to-measure draperies. For its part, Arley will now be able to manufacture products for a decorative bedding market which it had no foothold in.

Despite bidding on several different companies, Perfect Fit's efforts to expand through acquisition were stymied.

Talks between Morris and Ohayon began informally late last year as the two were exchanging ideas about improving their respective businesses. After hearing of Perfect Fit's thwarted efforts to expand, Ohayon asked Morris if he was willing to sell the division to Brockton, MA-based Arley.

"I told him, 'If you make us a fair offer we'll consider it,'" Morris said about the discussion which ultimately led to the sale. "He did and we took it. An idle conversation led to a big thing. I think it's a win-win situation for both companies."

Ohayon agreed, saying, "It was a good deal for Perfect Fit and for us. In an era of tough business conditions, consolidation like this make unbelievably good sense for us because Arley becomes more significant to more customers.

"We become stronger and we're delighted," he added .

In addition to Arley, VKO, Inc., also based in Brockton, MA, owns Homemaker Industries, Inc. The purchase marks the fifth time since September 1997 that VKO has acquired another company. Prior to this, Homemaker recently purchased table linens and kitchen textiles manufacturer Audrey.

Arley, which did not assume any liability or purchase any brick-and-mortar aspect of Perfect Fit, will continue to use PFI's factories for several more weeks before transferring operations to its own factories. A salesperson and designer will also be hired away from PFI since "selling and designing are what make a company tick and grow," said Ohayon.

Morris said PFI's customers understood the move and the main reason behind it; Perfect Fit's desire to look inward and focus on its key products "since you can't be all things to all people," Morris said. In fact, he added, many of those customers are customers in other areas and will continue to do business with PFI. It is those same customers which were a major attraction for Arley since, "Every bedding company has a niche and Perfect Fit had a niche we didn't have."

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