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Sleep Innovations Owner Grabs More Foam

The owner of Sleep Innovations plans to acquire Leggett & Platt's Prime Foam operations for an undisclosed price, which would raise by over 60% its annual revenues derived from foam.

Prime Foam generates annual sales of about $200 million in polyurethane foam for furniture and bedding. Sleep Innovations rang up 2006 sales of $315 million in foam pillows, toppers and mattresses.

The division is being acquired by Comfort Co., which is controlled by the Greenwich, Ct.,-based private equity firm Catterton Partners. In fall 2005, Catterton bought a controlling interest in Sleep Innovations.

Leggett said the deal should result in a pretax gain of about $24 million or 6 cents per share. It also will reduce the company's full-year operating earnings by about 4 cents per share. The company said it would retain its foam operations that produce carpet underlay. The deal marks the largest divestiture in Leggett's history.

David Haffner, Leggett's president and ceo, said that while Prime Foam is performing well, the company's market position is small and the business doesn't fit into the company's long-term strategic plan.

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