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Gilmartin Acquires Covington

Carole Sloan -- Home Textiles Today, October 31, 2005

Roger Gilmartin, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Covington Industries, has reached an agreement with the Gilmore family to acquire the assets of Covington under a letter of intent.

Abby Gilmore, Covington chairwoman and CEO, described the transaction as the “culmination of the Gilmore family's expectation when Gilmartin joined Covington in 1996 that he would serve as president in the transition from Gilmore family ownership.”

The Gilmore family will continue to have an interest in Covington and Abby Gilmore will continue to serve the company in an advisory capacity. The Gilmore family will retain ownership of the warehouse/distribution facility in Spartanburg, S.C., which Covington will continue to lease.

“We are thrilled with the new prospects that further investment will bring to the business. The management team is set to hit the ground running as we move to new office space and begin a new era for Covington,” said Gilmartin. Despite the pressures in recent years on American converters in global sourcing, Gilmartin added, “I believe in the business, the team and myself.”

Gilmore added: “It is bittersweet for the Gilmore family to begin our exit from the company which our father, Benjamin Gilmore, founded 65 years ago. But we are thrilled that Roger will be leading the Covington team in the future.”

She noted, “Roger has terrific people, a very, very good team.” As the company streamlined, “We have kept the best of the best.”

As for Gilmore, who was a practicing lawyer before her father recruited her into the business, “I have a lot of other interests outside fabrics” that include political and humanitarian involvement and charitable activities.

Covington will move from its showroom and office at 15 E. 26 St. to a new site nearby at 386 Park Ave. South by year end. It is expected that the transaction will close prior to the move.

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