Friday, April 29, 2005

La-Z-Boy Incorporated sold its Contract unit to the Lange family, owners of Best Home Furnishings, Inc., for Ferdinand, Ind., according to a filing today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
La-Z-Boy Contract, founded in 1971, sells seating products for office and health care use, according to the filing.
In a news release, La-Z-Boy CEO Kurt L. Darrow said, “Our expertise, as well as our business model, is centered on providing comfortable and stylish furnishings for the home. We have made a number of changes over the past year to better align ourselves with that model. Our contract business did not have the market position compared to the major office furniture players and was not a large enough component of our overall business to justify our continued corporate focus and resources. This sale enables us to concentrate our efforts more solely on home furnishings which have substantially different dynamics than contract furniture, as well as provide our contract furniture unit and its employees the opportunity to join an organization that is committed to invest and grow this business.”
La-Z-Boy Contract products are mainly manufactured in Leland, Miss. plant. Under terms of the sale, the La-Z-Boy name will continue to be used, according to the news release.
Empire District Electric Company's Kansas customers will soon see rate increases if the Kansas Corporation Commission approves an annual increase proposal submitted by the company. The increase asked for is 24.64 percent, according to a company news release, or nearly $4.2 million. If approved, the news release said, a residential customer using 750 kilowatt-hours of electricity would pay an additional $15.16.

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