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Burlington Rugs shifts HQ; plans future IPO

Burlington Rugs is in the process of relocating from Monticello, AR, to a new headquarters in part of a strategic plan by parent Yanoor Corp. to grow the company to $300 million to $400 million in sales by yearend 2005 — and to eventually take it public.

Prudential recently invested in the company as part of that initiative, said Yanoor vp marketing Shields Smith. He would not discuss the details of the investment or the size of Prudential's stake, but noted that "our mandate is to go public in the next four to five years."

To grow the business rapidly, Yanoor is launching a number of new divisions — earlier this week announcing the resurrection of Monticello Carpet Mills — and has recently hired executives away from Beaulieu and Mohawk to develop its lines of business. Monticello was previously a broadloom division operated by Burlington Industries and was eventually rolled into that company's Lee Carpets division. Burlington Industries sold the Burlington Rugs business and nearly 1 million square feet of manufacturing facilities in Monticello to Yanoor in early 2001. It still operates the Lee business.

Recent hires by Yanoor include John McLeod, vp, sales for Burlington Rug; Kelly Moore, vp, national accounts for Burlington Rugs; and Jeff Seagle, marketing manager for Burlington Rugs, all previously of Mohawk. Moore will report to McLeod, and Seagle will report to Smith.

The company has hired Mike Degrace as vp, sales for the new Monticello Flooring segment of the Monticello Carpet Mills business. He previously held the same title at Beaulieu of America. He will be responsible for extending the Monticello brand into hardwood and ceramic tile.

In addition, the company plans by the end of 2003 to launch two other divisions: a wall art and decorative accessories business called SaintAugustine Mills and an occasional RTA furniture business that has not yet been named.

"We view ourselves as a total décor company," Smith told HTT. "We're not trying to be the biggest in any one category, but to be one of the best in all categories."

In conjunction to the move to Atlanta, Burlington Rugs also will move into a 5,000-square-foot showroom space at the Atlanta Merchandise Mart that is more than twice the size of its previous space. Its new Atlanta headquarters will house executive and management personnel for all divisions, accounting, customer service, design, finance, IT, marketing and sales. It also will include a 20,000-square-foot showroom. Manufacturing and distribution will remain in Monticello.

"We need to be near the heart of where it all happens for the various industries within which we participate," said Saeid Korhani, Yanoor chairman and ceo. "The metropolitan Atlanta area is a wonderful place to live and will help us attract the best of talent as well as to better control a variety of costs, especially travel."

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