Longroad takes majority interest in Blue Bell Mattress

Private equity firm Longroad Asset Management LLC, based in Stamford, Conn., has acquired a majority stake in independent, regional mattress maker Blue Bell Mattress Co. LLC, with headquarters in East Windsor, Conn.

Founded in 1928, Blue Bell is a family-owned, third generation manufacturer and longtime holder of the northeast license for the King Koil mattress brand. The manufacturer also produces innerspring and hybrid (innerspring mattresses with specialty foams) for sleep shops and furniture retailers throughout the Northeast. There are 1,300 retail storefronts within its distribution area and the mattress maker is one of the largest bedding manufacturers in the region, a news release stated.

“We were attracted to Blue Bell based on its reputation as an exceptional supplier due to its superior quality and operational efficiency to meet quick turn and high-volume demand with its customers,” said Anne Whitman, Longroad managing director. “We look forward to working with Mark Kolovson and Steven Byer.”

Byer and Kolovson continue in their respective roles as chief operating officer and chief executive officer and each holds a significant stake in the company. The two are part of the extended family of Frank Stavis, a mattress industry veteran who for close to a half century ran the company founded by his family. Stavis died in 2004.

In commenting on the deal, Kolovson said, “We are excited to have Longroad as our new partner as we embark on our next stage of growth. Their experience working with middle market companies to source add-on companies and expand markets will be an asset as we continue to build our business.”

Dave Roberts, president and chief operating officer of the King Koil mattress licensing group, released this statement, “Blue Bell Mattress Co. is one of King Koil’s most longstanding licensees and through the successful efforts of CEO Mark Kolovson and COO Steve Byer, it has been our largest licensee for many years. We’ve enjoyed a great partnership with Blue Bell and are very excited that the company will continue on as a King Koil licensee. Longroad not only has great business insights but tremendous foresight with respect to the mattress industry. We’re very enthused about Longroad’s involvement and the opportunities that exist to take Blue Bell to another level.”

Brown Rudnick LLP served as legal counsel for Longroad. Bingham McCutchen LLP served as legal counsel for Blue Bell.

This story was updated Feb. 4, 2014.

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