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IMC completes acquisition of High Point's Showplace properties

International Market Centers announced that it has completed its acquisition of Showplace and associated properties, the final step in its plan to purchase the majority of showroom space of the furniture industry's biggest U.S. markets in High Point and Las Vegas.

The announcement did not disclose a purchase price.

Earlier this year, a Guilford County Superior Court judge said the value of a tentative deal was about $43 million. The proposal was in court because the Showplace properties were in receivership.

With the Showplace properties, IMC has about 60% of High Point's active showroom space, including the International Home Furnishings Center and the former Merchandises Mart Properties Inc. holdings. It also owns the World Market Center in Las Vegas. IMC officials have said the acquisitions in both cities were valued at $1 billion.

With the addition of the properties, IMC can focus on its primary mission to create the most compelling home furnishings market platform for the industry, IMC officials said in a press release.

"We look forward to working with our wide range of business partners to develop a world-class business-to-business platform for both buyers and sellers in the furnishings, home décor and gift industries," said Bob Maricich, CEO of IMC.

Showplace along with four other downtown High Point properties held by the Showplace owners, was placed in receivership in 2009, by a Guilford County judge after its owners defaulted on an $81 million note held by Bank of America.

The properties have more than 930,000 square feet of showroom space, including about 465,000 square feet in Showplace. The other properties include Showplace West (the former First Factors building at 101 S. Main St.) and smaller buildings at 200 N. Hamilton St., 320 N. Hamilton St. and 330 N. Hamilton St.

Showplace was purchased in 2005 by private equity firm Walton Street Capital and three North Carolina developers, High Point residents Maurice Hull and Coy Williard Jr. and Charlotte resident Paul Bell.

IMC said its portfolio now comprises 18 buildings spanning more than 11.5 million gross square feet.

IMC is majority owned by funds managed by Bain Capital Partners and a subsidiary of certain investment funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. Related Cos., Bassett Furniture Inds. and affiliates of Network World Market Center.

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