L&P Makes Major Move Into Flexible Foam Production   

Industry supplier Leggett & Platt Inc., headquartered in Carthage, Missouri, announced Nov. 7 that it intends to acquire foamer Elite Comfort Solutions Inc., based in Newnan, Georgia, from Arsenal Capital Partners for $1.25 billion in cash. The transaction is expected to close in January 2019.

Arsenal, a New York-based private equity group, formed the flexible polyurethane foam producer in spring 2016 after purchasing HSM’s Elite Foam unit in Newnan and combining it with Pacific Urethanes and Peterson Chemical Technology.

ECS annual sales in fiscal 2018 were $611 million, according to an L&P news release. The foamer has 16 facilities across the United States and is vertically integrated. ECS develops chemicals and additives used in polyurethane foam production, pours a range of specialty foams and manufactures finished products. Its products include finished mattresses, bedding components, toppers, pillows and furniture foams.

“Through the combination of Leggett & Platt and Elite Comfort Solutions, we will become the leading provider of differentiated products for the bedding industry and gain critical capabilities in proprietary foam technology, along with scale in the production of private-label finished mattresses,” said Karl Glassman, L&P president and chief executive officer. “ECS is uniquely qualified to provide e-commerce, retail and OEM customers the most advanced technology solutions in specialty foams today.

“With our best-in-class manufacturing capabilities and ECS’s proprietary and patented technology, we plan to capitalize on current and future trends in the market. Those trends include growth of the online mattress channel, the emergence of boxed-bed brands, and those brands’ and traditional mattress manufacturers’ increasing use of hybrid and specialty grade foam technology in compressed and conventional mattresses.”

Chris Chrisafides, ECS CEO, added: “Joining forces with Leggett & Platt enables us to provide a wider range of products and services to both companies’ valued customers. We admire Leggett & Platt’s storied history, as well as its global footprint and leading product portfolio. I look forward to working closely with Karl, Perry Davis (L&P executive vice president and president of its Residential Products and Industrial Products segments) and the entire Leggett & Platt team as we work toward a seamless integration of our two companies.”