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Keller wants to sell furniture operations

The Keller Manufacturing Co. Board of Directors has unanimously approved a plan to offer for sale its furniture operations and assets and to seek an acquisition.
‘Effective today, all furniture operations and assets of the company are for sale,’ David T. Richardson, Keller’s chief operating officer, said yesterday.
‘The decision has been made not to sell the legal entity but to sell only the furniture operations and assets. This includes, but is not limited to, our customer list, 10 product groups, marketing materials, product inventory, Web site, High Point (N.C.) showroom, and the ‘Keller Furniture’ name.’
The company is also starting a search process to purchase a new business using its remaining cash and other assets.
‘We are seeking an acquisition, and the company plans to purchase a business in 2005,’ said Keith Williams, Keller’s chief executive officer. ‘We are generally targeting service industries, light manufacturing and distribution companies. We are not targeting businesses in the furniture industry.
‘The company began exploring this option in late December and has preliminarily identified approximately 12 companies for consideration,’ he said.
Ken Fonville, president of the Keller Design Center and a member of the Keller board, resigned both positions last week to pursue other opportunities, Richardson said. Williams will leave the Keller management team on Feb. 15 to focus on identifying an attractive operating business to acquire. He will remain on the board of directors.
Richardson will then become Keller’s president and chief executive officer.