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Mohawk buys bath rug division

Cecile Corral, Andrea Lillo -- Home Textiles Today, July 7, 2003

Sugar Valley, GA — The leading vendor of bath rugs is getting a bit bigger still. Looking to continue building one of its core product categories, Mohawk Home last week purchased the tufted bath rug division of Calhoun, GA-based Brumlow Home.

The transaction should add about $22 million in sales to Mohawk's $169 million bath rug business, HTT estimates. The deal also expands Mohawk's category share in the mid-tier channel. The category is Mohawk's second largest, although it is not quite half the size of the company's $332 million area rug business.

Bill Kilbride, president of Mohawk Home, told HTT the acquisition represents various advantages for his company.

"[Brumlow Home] has always made high quality product, and not an opening price point. And, of course, so do we, even though we reach more levels of retail," Kilbride said.

"Also, they have a great reputation for high value, they bring a good book of business and a large roster of customers that will supplement our own [existing] business with department and specialty store retailers and it's a great way for us to expand our own business in this category," Kilbride added.

At the time of the sale, tufted bath rugs comprised one-third of Brumlow Home's total business, Mitchell Brumlow, president and ceo, said. When he launched his company in 1981, tufted bath rugs was one of Brumlow Home's core offerings.

"We feel that [the tufted bath rug] business and the direction it is taking in the marketplace is better suited for someone the size of Mohawk, it being a totally vertical company," Brumlow explained.

He added that his company will now focus on the printed accent and area rug programs it makes through an affiliation with LaGrange, GA-based Milliken & Co. as well as its other accent and area rug styles made of other constructions, all domestically made at Brumlow Home's Calhoun, GA, headquarters.

Kilbride said Mohawk Home's intention is to place added emphasis on its bath rug business, "one of our largest product categories."

He also said the company is open to similar opportunities to expand existing product categories or add new ones.

"We always — all the time — look at opportunities to expand," Kilbride said. "Publicly, that is one of our key strategies."

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