Holding co. to acquire Clark, Dee

Carole Sloan, July 16, 2001

A holding company has signed a letter of intent to acquire fabric converters Cyrus Clark and David Dee.

The holding company, as yet unnamed, consists of Cyrus Clark III, known as Rus, the president and a member of the family that owns Cyrus Clark; David Dee, president and owner of David Dee; Bill Zales, long-time fabric industry executive and industry consultant; and the Netherlands-based company Belta Com. Zales's extensive career in the decorative fabric business included P/Kaufmann and Fabriyaz, the latter a converting firm he co-owned that is no longer in existence.

Cyrus Clark, a 76-year-old family-owned business, has a signature look in prints in a mostly traditional mode, and has moved into wovens, with a customer base including decorative jobbers, fabric retailers, home textiles manufacturers, and furniture manufacturers.

David Dee, primarily a converter of print and jacquard fabrics for the contract market, has expanded into the residential market as well, said Zales, who will be ceo of the new company.

The combined company, Zales explained, "will target designer products for the medium to upper end market." Putting the two companies together, he added "will make both strong from a marketing perspective and provide synergy for both the residential and contract businesses."

The holding company now is doing due diligence, Zales reported, and the final signing of the sale is expected by the end of August. Financing, Zales said, already is in place. At that time Zales will be ceo, with Clark III as chairman, with responsibilities for both the Cyrus Clark and David Dee residential business, and with Dee as president of the David Dee contract division.

The holding company's offices will be at the Cyrus Clark headquarters at 267 Fifth Avenue here. The residential sales and marketing functions, all accounting, financial, customer service, converting and administrative function also will be based here. The sales and marketing office for the David Dee contract division will be based in Miami.

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