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Equity Firm Takes Control at Sleep Innovations

Fux to Focus on Products, Biz Headed for $350 Mil.

West Long Branch, N.J. — Catterton Partners, a consumer-oriented private equity firm, has acquired a controlling interest in Sleep Innovations to help take the top memory foam producer to the next level. Sleep Innovations projects 2005 sales of $350 million, which would make it the country's fourth largest home textiles supplier.

In addition, the firm has appointed a new Sleep Innovations president and CEO, Gary Matthews, who hails from a consumer products background, and given Founder Michael Fux a spot on the board of directors with an active role in product innovation and customer relations. Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed at press time.

Matthews previously served as president of worldwide consumer medicines for Bristol-Myers Squibb, CEO of Derby Cycle, and managing director of Guinness Great Britain. Prior to those operating roles, he was a consultant at McKinsey & Company.

Fux said Matthews has “an outstanding leadership track record” of investing, growing and developing innovative new products. “This combined with his sales and marketing experience makes him the ideal choice to lead Sleep Innovations in our next phase of growth,” he said.

Catterton's capital, operating skills and strategic views, said Fux, will enable Sleep Innovations to further expand its business and position it for continued growth. “In Catterton, we have found a strategic partner who, together with Sleep Innovations' employees, can help us realize our full potential.”

Catterton also has invested in such companies as Build-A-Bear, PF Chang's and Frederic Fekkai.

According to J. Michael Chu, managing partner of Catterton, Sleep Innovations' management team and employees have built “a dynamic company that is distinguished by advanced technology, unique packaging and solid customer relationships.”

Fux told HTT that he has wanted to “relax a bit” and pursue other interests such as charity and spending time with his children and grandkids. “By bringing them in and taking a step back, it will allow me to do this and serve as more of a creative entrepreneur,” said Fux. “I'm very excited. After all, this is my baby and I want to see it do well and grow.”

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