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La-Z-Boy buying furniture Maker

September 29, 1999

DETROIT (AP) _ Not sitting idle as one of the world’s largest furniture makers, La-Z-Boy Inc. is buying Ladd Furniture Inc. in a $197.8 million stock deal that one analyst says ``sets up La-Z-Boy as an industry behemoth.″

Under the deal unveiled Tuesday, La-Z-Boy also will assume Ladd’s debt of $101.5 million.

Ladd, based in Greensboro, N.C.,is among North America’s largest residential furniture makers and one of the world’s leading suppliers to hotel and motel, assisted living and government markets. It markets a broad range of bedroom, dining room, and upholstered furniture under several brand names including American Drew, Barclay and Clayton Marcus.

La-Z-Boy is the largest U.S. maker of upholstered furniture and a leading manufacturer worldwide of recliners.The company, based in Monroe, Mich.,had sales of $1.29 billion in the fiscal 1999.

Ladd, based in Greensboro, N.C.,had 1998 sales of $571.1 million.

The deal ``sets up La-Z-Boy as an industry behemoth″ and should help the company ``leverage capacity, brands and styles to be of greater service to retailers, and ultimately to consumers, said analyst Saul Cutler of BDO Seidman

The deal calls for the exchange of each Ladd share for 1.18 shares of La-Z-Boy and represents a price of $24.34 per Ladd share, based on La-Z-Boy’s closing stock price yesterday of $20.63.

La-Z-Boy said it expects to take a still-undetermined transaction-related charge in the quarter in which the deal is completed.

The transaction _ requiring approval by regulators and Ladd shareholders _ should be completed by early 2000.

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