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Launch of IMC for home furnishings & gift industries
04
May '11
The world's largest network of premium home furnishings, gift and home decor showroom and exhibition space was launched on May 3rd. The newly formed International Market Centers, L.P. (IMC) announced an investment of approximately $1 billion to unite iconic showroom assets in High Point, N.C., and Las Vegas, and create an effective, efficient and compelling world-class business-to-business platform for both buyers and sellers.

IMC's portfolio, initially comprised of 13 buildings and encompassing more than 10.6 million gross square feet, includes the International Home Furnishings Center and the Market Square Complex (consisting of eight properties) in High Point as well as all of the World Market Center Las Vegas buildings. Through a series of transactions, all assets in the portfolio have been recapitalized with significant equity investments, providing for long-term stability and creating a growth platform for the industry. Financial details of the transactions were not disclosed.

IMC has also reached agreement to acquire five additional buildings encompassing nearly one million gross square feet including, Showplace, Showplace West and three North Hamilton Street showroom venues in High Point. Upon the closing of this transaction, IMC will own and operate a total of 18 showroom buildings spanning 11.5 million square feet. Closing is expected within 60 days.

IMC is majority owned by funds managed by Bain Capital Partners and a subsidiary of certain investment funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. Related Companies, Bassett Furniture Industries and affiliates of Network World Market Center are also investors in the company.

The company will be led by Chief Executive Officer and industry veteran Robert Maricich and will operate from joint headquarters in High Point and Las Vegas. Maricich has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of World Market Center since 2008 and previously spent 11 years at Hickory, N.C.-based Century Furniture Industries, including as its President and CEO.

IMC has selected an outstanding team of executives to round out its senior management team. Collectively, these individuals represent more than 90 years of experience in the home furnishings and gift industries and include:

Tom Mitchell will serve as President of Home Furnishings. Mitchell has been President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Home Furnishings Center since 2008 and has had a long and distinguished career in the home furnishings and trade mart business. Mitchell has successfully managed in excess of 7 million square feet of home furnishings trade marts in his 32-year career.

Georgia Davis, who has served the home furnishings industry for more than 20 years, will lead the strategically critical gift industry initiative on an interim basis while a President of Gift & Home Decor is identified. Before joining World Market Center in 2007 as a consultant for its gift initiative, Davis was Executive Vice President of the Dallas Market Center for 20 years.

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