A bid by the Rock House Farm (RHF Investments) family of brands—also known as the Hickory, North Carolina–based parent company of Century Furniture, Hancock & Moore, Highland House, Jessica Charles and Cabot Wrenn—to acquire “substantially all assets” of the Hickory Chair, Maitland-Smith, Pearson and La Barge furniture brands from Heritage Home Group was approved by the District of Delaware Bankruptcy Court on Wednesday. The transaction is expected to close on or before October 12.
“We are elated to be moving forward with the acquisition,” said Alex Shuford III, president of Century Furniture and CEO of RHF Investments. “From our initial interest many months ago, and then throughout the bankruptcy process, we have remained focused on the team of dedicated Hickory Chair employees who have made these brands successful in our industry. Our primary role as new owners is to let this fine company do what they do best by not getting in their way, … support them when asked, … advise them when necessary, … and to treat them like family.”
As Business of Home reported last December, Heritage Home Group announced the sale of nearly all its Lane Furniture business assets to United Furniture Industries. At the time, the company had divided itself into three core business organizations, and new executives were appointed to lead each one. By late July, Heritage Home Group had filed for bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware to begin a restructuring process. The bid had to undergo an open bidding period of several weeks, giving other bidders a chance to submit offers.
Following the closing of RHF’s acquisition, the nearly 500 employees of Hickory Chair, Maitland-Smith, Pearson and La Barge, most of whom are based in North Carolina, will become employees of Hickory Chair, which will operate independently under RHF Investments.
“This is a transformative time in our industry,” says Shuford. “We are looking at tremendous change across the supplier, dealer and manufacturing landscape. We at RHF feel that there is real value in family ownership for some of these storied brands, and we are fortunate to be in a position where we can ‘lean in’ and help. At RHF, our mission is to build a family of brands that designers and retailers trust and want to do business with for years to come. While each of our companies is unique and self-directed, the common thread for all our businesses is to always strive to be honorable and trusted.”