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Jeff Hollander grabs lion's share of P'tex

BOCA RATON, FL — In a novel situation that smacks of David running down Goliath, Jeff Hollander, president of Hollander Home Fashions, has become the largest single shareholder in textiles giant Pillowtex Corp., buying 81,441 shares of preferred convertible stock, a move that ultimately gives him about a 19.2 percent stake in the troubled textiles giant.

The preferred stock that Hollander acquired in a private transaction is convertible into a total of 3.4 million shares of common stock, a holding that puts him ahead of former chairman and ceo Chuck Hansen and Mary Silverthorne, widow of the company's founder, John Silverthorne.

Hollander told Home Textiles Today he acquired the stock in a private transaction for the bargain basement price of $10,000 from private investor Jess M. Ravich, who in turn acquired the stock from corporate financier Leon Black, who picked up a major stake in Pillowtex when the company defaulted on its debt.

Hollander said that in the coming days he will file a 13-D filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission detailing the transaction.

Hollander, who owns a 53 percent stake in Hollander Home Fashions, a company founded by his father, Leo Hollander, chairman, pointed out the potential synergies between his own basic bedding business and that of Pillwowex Corp. "There's a lot that could be done. It's a fascinating situation. We would certainly contemplate the acquisition of some of their assets in pillows and pads."

Among his possible options, said Hollander: "I may seek a seat on the board of directors. And one of the things we could explore is some form of business combination. There's a lot that could be done. They have a lot of very attractive assets. So I would expect to explore the various ways in which we might benefit from this thing. It's something I'll investigate over the next few weeks."

Hollander Home Fashions, with sales last year of $211 million, is the nation's 11th largest supplier of home fashions products, according to the Home Textiles Today exclusive ranking of the industry's top 15 suppliers. It is the nation's third-largest supplier of sleep pillows, with sales last year of $98 million; the third-largest supplier of down comforters, with 2000 sales of $52 million; and the fifth-largest producer of mattress pads, with $11 million in sales last year.

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