Technology investment firm D.E. Shaw has acquired most of the assets of Sure Fit Inc., a manufacturer and multi-channel retailer of slipcovers that has been in bankruptcy since March. D.E. Shaw, which says it plans to expand Sure Fit’s product line, paid $16 million in cash and agreed to assume about $4 million in debt. In addition, D.E. Shaw has agreed to provide Sure Fit with a $10 million line of credit.
Sure Fit, No. 204 in Internet Retailer’sTop 300 Guide to online retailers, will keep its name and operate as a subsidiary of D. E. Shaw Laminar Portfolios, a unit of New York-based D.E. Shaw Group. D. E. Shaw has appointed Salo P. Grosfeld, former president of Miami-based textile firm J.R. United Industries Inc., as CEO of Sure Fit, replacing Bert Shlensky, who will remain in an advisory role.
"This is a wonderful niche business," said Max Holmes, a managing director of D. E. Shaw & Co. L.P. and head of the firm`s distressed securities group. "We`re excited at the prospect of returning the Sure Fit business to profitability by expanding relationships with customers and suppliers. Leveraging Salo Grosfeld`s expertise, we also plan to explore opportunities for product line extensions."
Shaw said it would proceed with previously announced plans to close a manufacturing facility in Allentown, PA, and reduce Sure Fit’s work force by about 140 employees by October. Sure Fit will continue to operate call and distribution centers in the Allentown area, and will maintain marketing, sales, sourcing, product development, administrative, and financial staff in New York and Pennsylvania, Shaw said.
Sure Fit sells through department stores and other retailers as well as through its own catalog and SureFit.com.