Hickory Springs Manufacturing Co. announced the acquisition of The C.E. White Co., a New Washington, Ohio-based manufacturer of seating products for the commercial/transit and school bus markets. According to a press release, the move will provide Hickory Spring’s customers with “a complete seating solution.”
“Welcoming The C.E. White Co. to the Hickory Springs organization enhances opportunities for both companies as it leverages the core capabilities of each,” noted David Colburn, president and CEO for North Carolina-based Hickory Springs which manufactures components for the furniture, bedding, transportation and a growing number of diversified markets. “This acquisition makes Hickory Springs a more well-rounded player in the industry, able to capitalize on its unique competitive advantage as a producer of multiple components that can now be combined to create an integrated seating solution, and bringing new opportunities to C.E. White in the process.”
The integration of both companies will take place over the next 90 days. In the meantime, Hickory Springs said customers will “continue to receive the same high-quality service they have come to expect from C.E. White.”
“I cannot begin to express my excitement about this opportunity, which brings together the capabilities and resources of two very well-established and long-term companies to the benefit of both,” said Tony Everett, president and CEO of C.E. White. “I liken it to a three-legged stool. Hickory Springs offers two legs of the stool, or in this case the seat – the metal frame and the foam – and C.E. White brings the third leg – cut and sewn covers and experience as a seat manufacturer – to create a solid company with an integrated solution for the transportation seating market. As a result, we can anticipate increased business opportunities and a positive impact on the communities in which C. E. White operates.
“The same people will take care of our customers, and there will be no changes in company philosophy,” Everett added. “In fact, Hickory’s philosophy and C.E. White’s are very similar. They are both family-based companies, customer-driven and customer-focused, and I’m confident a stronger company will emerge from this transaction.”
The C.E. White Co. will continue to be headquartered in New Washington. Everett will report directly to Lee Lunsford, executive vice president and chief operations officer at Hickory Springs, to ensure a smooth and successful merger.