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Bacova Movin' On Up

Acquisition Puts Company in Top 5 Bath Rug Suppliers

High Point, N.C. — Bacova Guild Ltd. is moving into the top five list of U.S. bath rug suppliers through its recent acquisition of Lacey Mills.

The 67-year-old Lacey, a manufacturer and importer of bath and accent rugs based in Cartersville, Ga., made the top five list for the first time this year when it reported its highest sales ever in the bath rug category — $24 million in 2004 — a figure that earned it fifth place.

Bacova, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rocky Mount, Va.-based Ronile Inc., generates about $50 million in total sales for its bath, area and accent rugs and bath coordinates, according to industry estimates.

“The Lacey business is a strong strategic fit to our existing businesses,” said Charlie Bowers, Bacova president. “There is a significant amount of synergy between the two companies with customers and types of products. There are very few rug types, qualities and price points that we would not be able to address. (Lacey) provides Bacova with a compelling market basket of products for retailers who are interested in fashion and product innovation. It is our intent to build on the tradition that Lacey fostered over many years.”

Prior to its sale, Lacey recently experienced shifts at the executive level. Upon the departure in November of Tom Etheridge and John Hale from the company, John Whittenburg, then-chairman and CEO of Lacey as well as of Southern Yarn Dyers, stepped in to also become president of Lacey to handle day-to-day operations. Etheridge was formerly president and Hale was vice president, sales.

Bacova will continue to operate the Lacey's manufacturing plant at its headquarters and will distribute its products — including licensed programs for Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. and Ralph Lauren Home Collection Inc. for bath rugs under the Lauren Ralph Lauren trademark — from Bacova's new distribution center in Low Moor, Va.

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