Thread Number: 36502  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
Nearly 20 Years Ago ... Electrolux Corporation is Bought Out
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Post# 391006   4/25/2018 at 01:11 (296 days old) by Paul (USA)        

I found this online article and thought I'd share ...

New owner sweeps Electrolux HQ away

By Zach Coleman Staff Writer
Dec 7, 1998, 12:00am EST Updated Dec 7, 1998, 12:00am EST

The new owners of Electrolux are moving the vacuum cleaner-maker's headquarters close to them.

The change affects about 120 jobs at Electrolux LLC's headquarters in Marietta.

The top 15 to 20 corporate, sales and finance executive positions are moving to Dallas.

Buyout firm Engles Urso Follmer Capital Corp., based in Dallas, formed Electrolux LLC this spring to buy the assets of Electrolux Corp. The other jobs in Marietta are moving to Bristol, Va., home to Electrolux's main manufacturing plant.

"We didn't need 60,000 square feet of triple A office space in North Atlanta," said John Fontana, Electrolux's chief operating officer. He described the Bristol location as a more "workmanlike" environment. "We are holding onto our Falcons season tickets," he added.

Fontana said Profit Recovery Group International Inc. has sublet Electrolux's office space and is hiring many of the Electrolux employees who are choosing not to move. He said employees are getting one- to two-weeks' severance pay for each year they worked.

Electrolux moved its headquarters to metro Atlanta from Stamford, Conn., after management led a buyout of the business from Sara Lee Corp.

Sara Lee returned as the company's biggest shareholder in 1990 after Electrolux converted its debts into equity following abortive attempts to diversify beyond vacuums into water purifiers and home contracting.

Sara Lee and four banks sold their stock to Electrolux LLC last May. Joseph P. Urso, the chairman and CEO of Engles Urso, then replaced Thomas Albani, who had run Electrolux for seven years.

"We've come a long way since I was a boy growing up in Connecticut -- where we truly lived in the shadow of the Electrolux plant," Urso said in a letter on Electrolux's Web site. "Members of my own family worked the assembly line, building piece by piece the company we know today. Many of the products they built then are still running now. I remember the pride they had in their work, and the pride the community had in the company. That pride is in my blood."

Electrolux owns more than 500 sales and service outlets around the country, but still sells vacuums mostly door-to-door. In the May announcement, Engles Urso said Electrolux's 1997 revenues "exceeded $250 million." According to Hoover's Inc., Electrolux had $680 million in sales last year.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall of 226,000 Electrolux upright vacuums last month because of a safety hazard.

On the models covered by the recall, the power cord comes out of the top of the handle and, the commission said, often breaks because it is used as an extension of the handle. Electrolux received about 35 reports of people shocked or burned, including 11 reports of second- or third-degree burns or shocks.

Engles Urso led a 1996 buyout of a smaller door-to-door vacuum company called Interstate Engineering that makes vacuums under the Compact and TriStar brands. Engles Urso has stakes in other direct sales companies. He said in May that Electrolux and Interstate will remain independent, but will cooperate to "create positive synergies."

"Electrolux is a company with a solid foundation, and we expect it to thrive under the Engles Urso Follmer (EUF) leadership," said American Capital Strategies Ltd. when it bought $7.5 million of Electrolux's debt this summer. "The company has earned a reputation for high-quality, high-performance products, and EUF is supported in its efforts by both a talented management team and an aggressive sales force."

Another Engles Urso company last year bought Roswell-based Communications Central Inc.'s prison telephone business for $42 million.

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