Private equity firm buys into Carls Patio

Casual furniture retail specialist Carls Patio has been recapitalized by Cleveland, Ohio-based private equity firm Weinberg & Bell Group. 

Carls Patio was founded in 1993 by Gary Ecoff, who continues as president. The senior management team of Carl’s Patio will continue to hold a significant portion of the equity and South Florida interior furnishings retailer Carls Furniture will maintain an investment in the new company. 

Based in Coconut Creek, Fla., Carls Patio currently operates 11 retail showrooms in Florida as well as the design showroom Terrace 436 located within the Design Center of the Americas (DCOTA) in Dania Beach, Fla. In 2005, the company acquired Saddleback Patio of San Diego and Berks of Santa Monica, as the platform to expand into the California market. Two additional locations in Agoura Hills and Laguna Beach were opened in 2008, bringing the total to 16 stores between the two markets. 

“The last 15 years has been an incredible ride,” Ecoff said. “The opportunity to have partnered with individuals like the owners of Carls Furniture has been a privilege. Their integrity and guidance gained from over five decades of experience in the furniture business has been invaluable. They have instilled in me the importance of providing superior customer service and always following through with one’s word. Most importantly, they have become my closest friends.” 

As part of the reorganization, Lyle Ecoff was named vice president of the western division. Paul Otowchits was named vice president of the eastern division. Bob Sosko will continue his role as sales manager for the eastern division. Jayson Friedman will assume responsibilities as merchandise manager for both divisions. 

“My entire team is anxious to begin working with WBG in leading Carl’s Patio into the next level of strategic growth and development,” Ecoff said. 

“We are extremely excited about the long-term prospects for Carls Patio,” said Daniel M. Bell, managing director of WBG. “We believe the combination of the superior management team, leading market positions and luxury brand names will continue to result in exceptional financial performance. We look forward to many years of strong growth, increasing opportunities for our dedicated employees and excellent returns for all of our shareholders.” 

One of Casual Living’s 100 Powerhouse Specialists, Carls Patio also is among the Apollo Award finalists. Those awards will be presented Wednesday night at Chicago’s Navy Pier.

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