1,400 to be laid off in North Mississippi after Missouri company’s Chapter 13 filing

Furniture Brands International CEO Ralph Scozzafava said the company’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing was “an important step in securing our future.”

In a memo to employees, Scozzafava emphasized, “This does not mean that we are going out of business.”

That’s also the hope of employees at Lane Furniture Industries, even as its parent company is poised to get a $140 million lifeline from investment firm Oaktree Capital Management.

Lane, which employs more than 1,400 people in the area, is not one of the Furniture Brands assets Oaktree is bidding on to add to its portfolio.

Did Oaktree not want Lane because a buyer was waiting in the wings, or is there some other reason?

Perhaps a hint comes from a letter to employees on Monday, in which Furniture Brands Senior Vice President Meredith M. Graham said Lane “continues to be unprofitable” and “we are unsure of our ability to secure a financial solution for Lane.”

That’s a stark reversal of fortune for a company many in the industry had said had been for years one of the most profitable divisions for its parent.

Daily Journal