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Tropitone gets financial adviser, positions for growth

Tropitone Furniture Co., has hired Chicago-based Lincoln International as its financial adviser. The company is seeking an institutional investor who will provide access to expanded financial resources to accelerate Tropitone's future growth plans.

Michael Echolds, Tropitone's chief executive officer, said the company has benefited for more than 50 years from the vision and leadership of three generations of the founding Baker family.

"Tropitone is today one of the most financially successful, innovative and respected companies in the casual furniture industry," Echolds said. "This is largely a result of the Baker family's long-standing commitment to stylish — yet practical — furniture for outdoor living as well as unparalleled customer support. The board of directors now believes that with the favorable market conditions, the strength of Tropitone's performance, and the potential opportunities for the company in the marketplace, the time is right to partner with an institutional investor with access to expanded financial resources."

Lincoln International focuses on providing merger and acquisition services and private capital raising to companies involved in mid-market transactions. The company anticipates partnering with an investor that will build on Tropitone's strong legacy as it also provides a springboard for moving forward in today's increasingly competitive and global marketplace.

Tropitone's management team has successfully implemented a well-defined strategic plan as evidenced by five years of sequential revenue and earnings growth, Echolds said. He anticipates continuing in his role as CEO with the current management team when the new investor is in place. Echolds expects to remain a significant shareholder as well.

"An institutional investor can bring many important benefits to the company," he said. "We will have greater flexibility to broaden the scope and increase the frequency of our product introductions."

According to Doug Baker, who along with Angella Baker has been the principal shareholder since 1992, both his grandfather and father would be proud of Tropitone's success. "The ingenuity of my grandfather, Bert Baker Sr., led him to pioneer the use of aluminum to craft comfortable and durable outdoor furniture, and the creative talents of my father, James Baker, ensured that Tropitone's furniture collections were stylish and memorable.

"As the third generation of the family to be involved in the business, I could see in the 1990s that it was time for the company to be managed by individuals other than family members," Baker said. "The Baker family is excited to see the Tropitone legacy move forward with the greater flexibility and financial resources which an institutional investor can provide."

Tropitone's fully upholstered Gran Vista seating includes a sofa, loveseat, lounge chair and ottoman as well as an end table, cocktail table and chat table.

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