by Louis Iannaco
Dalton—Executives at Beaulieu of America have announced the securing of $230 million in loan refinancing. Said Ralph Boe, president and CEO, “We are now poised for continued growth in the current marketplace. And, as the largest privately-held carpet manufacturer in the U.S., Beaulieu will continue to focus on the needs of its customers to be the ‘supplier of choice.’”
Led by Bank of America and Wells Fargo Capital Finance as well as PNC Bank, the new loan refinances Beaulieu’s existing loan agreement and provides additional liquidity for continued expansion. “We appreciate the efforts of our lead banks for their continued financial support and partnership with our company,” he said.
On the reasons for the announcement, Boe told FCNews, “Normally, we wouldn’t even comment on these things, as we’re a private company, and have pretty much kept that to ourselves. In the environment we’ve been in the last couple years, there’s been much talk about different issues that affect different companies. Our suppliers, some customers and our competitors were aware we were going through a refinancing, and I believe many of them questioned whether it was going to occur.”
Because of the uncertainty all this created in the marketplace, he noted, “we decided it was important to let people know it was done, and that we are back in position to operate normally for the next three to four years.”
As for the company’s present plans for the funds, Boe said they’d be applied to Beaulieu’s inventory and to support its receivables. “They’ll also be used to fund any modifications of existing equipment, or any further expansions we might consider to grow our business or react to the dynamic changes that occur with fibers in our industry.”
Earlier this year, Beaulieu expanded its extrusion capacity to support its growth in the polyester business in which the mill has been involved with over the last several years. “We look at this as an area of growth,” said Boe, “to displace the nylon staple business that has exited the market in the last three years and also to provide capacity to support any recovery whenever it occurs.
“Obviously, we haven’t seen the recovery yet, but we do expect someday there is going to be one and it’s going to require that we and our competitors have the capacity to support it with fiber generation,” he concluded. “That’s where most of the money will be going, expansion in fiber and the yarn processing that goes along with it such as twisting and heat setting. Ultimately, it’s to support those areas of fiber and yarn production.”