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MICHAEL ALAN DESIGNS IS ACQUIRED BY OWNERS OF ICA.

COMPTON, Calif.-In the biggest wall decor buyout in years, Intercontinental Art (ICA) has purchased certain assets of Michael Alan Designs from its senior secured lenders.

ICA is the sales leader in the midrange framed art segment and is known for its sophisticated, efficient manufacturing and operations here. ICA is a portfolio company of Leonard Green & Partners, a merchant and investment banking firm based in Los Angeles. Michael Alan Designs, the second-largest player, was debt-ridden, undercapitalized and, consequently, losing market share. In the 30 to 60 days before the deal, deliveries slowed considerably, insiders said.

The assets acquired include receivables, inventory, equipment and general intangibles. The new entity did not assume Michael Alan's debt load.

ICA and Michael Alan Designs will operate as distinct strategic business units within one corporate entity, with a third business unit providing the manufacturing and fulfillment for both in Compton, said Ken Phillips, ICA's chief executive officer, who now serves as corporate president and CEO. Corporate services like information technology and finance will be combined. The Michael Alan sales, marketing and product development team will remain in place.

Roger Williams has stepped down as CEO at Michael Alan and is serving as a consultant during the 90-day "integration" period, which began March 29.

Ken Floyd, executive vice president of the Michael Alan division, has assumed overall responsibility for brand management, including sales, marketing and product development. He now reports to Phillips. Janine Friedman continues as senior vice president of merchandising and design, reporting to Floyd.

"In the areas of sourcing, manufacturing and fulfillment, we believe that this transaction represents an outstanding opportunity for Ken Floyd and Janine Friedman to strengthen and grow the [Michael Alan] brand along with the rest of the industry," Phillips said.

"The change in ownership of [Michael Alan] should be totally transparent to customers from a day-to-day operating perspective," Phillips said.

"There is a strong desire to maintain separate identities and, hence, the competitiveness of these two companies," he added.

"Each brand has its own signature and style; both companies have significant market share with various retailers based on that existing product and style differentiation. This will continue; for retailers, it's business as usual," Phillips said.
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Author:Meyer, Nancy
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Date:Apr 23, 2001
Words:365
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