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Celebrity Inc. expands product offerings with acquisition of India exotics; unaffected by threatened China trade sanctions.

TYLER, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 10, 1995--Celebrity, Inc. (NMS: FLWR) announced today it has completed its acquisition of India Exotics of St. Louis, Mo. India Exotics, with 1994 revenues of approximately $10 million, is one of the leading importers and distributors of high quality brass accessories, with a strong presence in decorative containers and planters.

Robert H. Patterson, Jr., President and CEO of Celebrity, said, "As we've looked for ways to build value for our shareholders in ways that are compatible with our existing strengths, it was clear that a greater presence in decorative accessories could add substantial leverage to our business model. Our goal of increasing market share by accelerating and streamlining the flow of high quality decorative accessories from producers to retailers led us directly to India Exotics, a leader in the highly fragmented $200 plus million market for decorative brass. The majority of customers for Celebrity's artificial flowers, foliage, bushes and trees also make significant purchases of brass planters and other decorative accessories.

"We've already participated with India Exotics in some joint sales efforts and trade shows," Patterson said. "With highly complementary product lines, we now have the opportunity to create a greater presence in a more broadly defined decorative accessories marketplace while simultaneously simplifying purchasing decisions for many of our major customers throughout the U.S. and abroad. This acquisition presents an excellent opportunity for us to gain a larger share of a more broadly defined market.

"A key factor in India Exotics' success," Patterson continued, "is its very close relationship with a large manufacturer of decorative brass products in India, giving it an unusual degree of control over product quality as well as its ability to meet shipment commitments. This arrangement parallels the close relationships Celebrity enjoys with our suppliers in the Far East, a situation which has given us a decided advantage in terms of product quality and shipment reliability for the artificial flowers and plants that constitute the majority of our business. To the extent India Exotics will allow Celebrity to offer these advantages with a substantially enriched product offering, we believe our major customers, and our shareholders, will benefit. We are excited to have India Exotics join the Celebrity family of companies," Patterson said. "We're especially pleased that Sam Khokha, President and Chief Executive Officer of India Exotics, will remain as President of the company, which currently employs 23 people."

Separately, Celebrity, Inc. announced today that after a thorough examination of proposed U.S. trade sanctions against China, the company can affirm that the list of items targeted for increases in tariff in the current trade dispute does not include any products of the type Celebrity imports from China.

Robert H. Patterson, Jr., President and CEO of Celebrity, said, "The majority of the 7,000 home accent, decorative accessory and giftware items we sell throughout North America and Europe are produced for us in China. None of these products, however, are on the list of items earmarked for tariff increases in the current trade disagreement with China. We hope these issues will be resolved quickly and amicably. We have long enjoyed fruitful trade alliances with China and our relationships with our suppliers there have never been better. We look forward to the continued success of our subsidiary, Celebrity Hong Kong, which serves as our liaison with producers in China. For the past several years, Celebrity Hong Kong has been the fastest growing part of our business as increasing numbers of our major customers have taken advantage of its close ties to producers and direct shipment capabilities."

Celebrity, Inc., with annual revenues in excess of $100 million, is one of the leading suppliers of high-quality artificial flowers, foliage, flowering bushes and other decorative accessories to craft store chains, other retailers and wholesalers throughout North America and Europe. Celebrity imports and/or produces approximately 7,000 home accent, decorative accessory and giftware items, including artificial floral arrangements, floor planters and trees, brass items and a broad line of seasonal items such as Christmas trees, wreaths, garlands and other ornamental products.

CONTACT: Celebrity, Inc.,

Robert H. Patterson, Jr.

or James R. Thompson, 903/561-3981
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 10, 1995
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