Tropitone gets financial adviser, positions for growth
Furniture Today Staff -- Casual Living, June 8, 2007
Tropitone Furniture Co., an Irvine, Calif.-based manufacturer of fine casual furniture, announced today that it has engaged Chicago-based Lincoln International to be its financial adviser. The company is seeking an institutional investor who will provide Tropitone with access to expanded financial resources to accelerate the company’s future growth plans.
According to Michael Echolds, Tropitone’s chief executive officer, 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 chief executive officer 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. Also, expanded financial resources will enable us to add to our existing manufacturing capacity to meet increased market demand, advance our product technology, as well as pursue acquisitions.
“At the same time, we will maintain a focus on the company’s commitment to quality, service and innovative design,” Echolds said. “Providing a work environment where our employees are valued for their contributions and given the opportunity to grow as the company grows also will continue to be a priority.”
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. “Today, with the leadership and commitment of a very capable and seasoned management team, Tropitone continues to offer our customers superior product selection as well as outstanding service. 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.”