Kayfoam sale price confirmed at more than €100m by US buyer

Bedding group employs more than 300 in Dublin and Kildare

Kayfoam Woolfson owns bedding brands King Koil, Kaymed and Odearest.

Kayfoam Woolfson owns bedding brands King Koil, Kaymed and Odearest.

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Dublin-based bedding company Kayfoam Woolfson’s new US owner has disclosed that the price paid for the business in June amounted to $119 million (€101.2 million) in an all-cash deal.

New York-listed Leggett & Platt, which makes components used in office furniture, bedding and car seats, also said in its latest quarterly report, published this week, that Kayfoam Woolfson is currently generating annual sales of about $80 million (€68 million).

The company, which employs more than 300 people, with manufacturing facilities in Dublin and Kilcullen, Co Kildare, is focused on the British and Irish markets. It will be absorbed into Leggett & Platt’s bedding products division, according to the US company.

Kayfoam Woolfson owns bedding brands King Koil, Kaymed and Odearest. The company was established more than a century ago by William Woolfson, His descendants retained a minority stake after FL Partners and clients of the now-defunct Anglo Irish Bank acquired control of the business 14 years ago. The deal at the time was reported to have been worth about €60 million.

The Irish Times reported in June that the latest deal was estimated to have been worth more than €100 million.

The latest accounts list FL Partners’ co-founders, Peter Crowley and Neill Hughes, as owners of a combined 18.9 per cent stake in Kayfoam Woolfson’s ultimate parent company, Dayspring Ltd. The group’s chief executive David Moffitt and chief financial officer John Sexton control a further 14.1 per cent between them.

Proprietary technologies

Aside from being a manufacturer of finished consumer, hotel and medical beds, mattresses and complementary products, the company also owns and develops a range of proprietary foam and gel polymer technologies, which it markets to global mattress manufacturers.

Leggett & Platt chief operating officer Mitchell Dolloff told analysts on a conference call on Tuesday that he expects the Kayfoam Woolfson deal will lead to more growth opportunities in Europe.

Similar to the group’s US bedding business, the deal “allows us to support our customers really anywhere along the value chain from components of inner springs to specialty foam, all the way to private-label finished mattresses or other accessories,” Mr Dolloff said. “So we feel like it sets us up really well to continue to grow our business in Europe.

“This is primarily focused in the UK and Ireland, but we’ll explore the possibilities of similar opportunities as we look through broader European market.”

Leggett & Platt, founded in 1883, is based in Missouri and employs more than 20,000 people. The company saw its sales decline by 10 per cent last year to $4.28 billion as it navigated the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the group this week reported record quarterly sales for the three months to the end of June, of $1.27 billion, up 50 per cent on the year, reflecting a strong recovery in demand as the economy recovers and the passing on of increased raw material prices to customers. The company raised its full-year sales and earnings guidance.

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