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Dixie Group Acquires Atlas Carpet Mills

Carpet and rug manufacturer The Dixie Group Inc., Chattanooga, Tenn., has acquired Los Angeles-based commercial broadloom and modular carpet tile manufacturer Atlas Carpet Mills for $17.5 million including assumption of certain outstanding purchase orders, payoff of existing debt and a cash payment.

“Dixie and Atlas have had a long relationship that goes back over 40 years,” said Dixie Group Chairman and CEO Daniel K. Frierson, adding that Atlas Founder Jim Horwich will continue as president of Atlas and will report to Dixie COO Kennedy Frierson, and Atlas Executive Vice President Mark Nestler and Vice President of Manufacturing Scott Price also will remain with the company.
Commenting on Atlas’s “very strong sales force and excellent brand equity,” Kennedy Frierson stated that “this strong market position has been created by the superior design and styling of their product offerings.” He noted that Atlas’s Saybrook tufting, coating, inspection and shipping operations will continue as before; as will administrative, product development and sales operations. Dixie will consolidate Atlas’s dyeing operations into its own Susan Street facility in Santa Ana, Calif., and many of the associates from the Atlas facility are expected to move to the Santa Ana facility.
Atlas reported sales totaling some $53 million in 2013 and has consistently remained profitable over its 44-year history. Atlas will remain a distinct brand within Dixie’s portfolio, which also includes the Fabrica International, Masland Carpets, Dixie Home, Masland Contract and Avant brands.
Dixie was established in 1920 as a mercerizing operation and became involved in the carpet industry when it acquired specialty carpet yarn manufacturer Dalton Candlewick Inc., in Dalton, Ga., in 1951. Beginning in the 1990s and continuing to the present, the company has grown through the acquisition of numerous companies and focused its attention on the floorcovering market, and on the high end of that market in particular. The company reported sales totaling some $345 million in 2013 — an increase of 29.5 percent over year-earlier sales totaling $266 million, and a 68-percent increase over sales in 2009, during the Great Recession.
March 19, 2014