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US upholstery family firm's IPO plans

An Illinois-based family upholstery business has joined forces with a private equity firm in the hope of becoming the US's first publicly-traded company of its type in the US.

An Illinois-based family upholstery business has joined forces with a private equity firm in the hope of becoming the US's first publicly traded company of its type in the US.

Ken Kovie's family have been in the upholstery business since 1939, when his parents opened their first shop in Chicago – Kovie joined the family business in 1975, and went on to found Ken's Custom Upholstery in 1985.

The newly formed Upholstery International now wholly owns Ken's Custom Upholstery, a company backed by a $110 million investment from California-based Lambert Private Equity.

Kovie now has plans for an aggressive acquisition strategy to turn Upholstery International for growth, and is targeting rival upholstery businesses with profit before interest and taxes of at least $2 million.

Upholstery International is now in the process of fulfilling all the requirements to begin trading on the OTCBB exchange.

He said in a statement: "Consumer and commercial demand for reupholstering, quality fabrics and furniture has never been stronger, but the current companies on the market have not been able to reach sufficient scale to satisfy this pent-up demand."

He added: "Even just an hour's drive from our headquarters, there are 86 potential businesses with more than $5 million in annual revenue, many of which would help us achieve our growth goals." 

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