Mattress rivals Tempur-Pedic and Sealy are becoming bedfellows.
Tempur-Pedic, the 20-year-old leader in foam mattresses, is buying more-than-a-century-old rival Sealy for about US$228.6 million in cash.
The acquisition comes as competition has increased in the mattress industry, with makers stepping up their marketing and promotions to help lure cost-conscious consumers into making big purchases.
Tempur-Pedic International Inc said Thursday that it will pay US$2.20 per Sealy share, which is a three per cent premium to the company's Wednesday closing price of US$2.14.
Sealy, based in Trinity, North Carolina, currently has about 103.9 million outstanding shares, according to FactSet. Its stock rose five cents, or 2.3 per cent, to US$2.19 per share in heavy afternoon trading.
Tempur-Pedic says it will also assume or pay back all of Sealy Corp's outstanding debt.
The Lexington, Kentucky company plans to finance the acquisition with debt. Its shares soared US$3.46, or nearly 13 per cent, to US$30.24 in afternoon trading, with volume more than seven times normal trade. Earlier in the session, shares peaked at US$32.97.
Global bedding company
The companies put the total value of the deal at US$1.3 billion, including debt. They say that the transaction will create a US$2.7-billion global bedding company.
"Tempur-Pedic and Sealy together will have products for almost every consumer preference and price point, distribution through all key channels, in-house expertise on most key bedding technologies, and a world-class research and development team," Tempur-Pedic CEO Mark Sarvary said in a statement.
Tempur-Pedic and Sealy will run independently of each other, with Sealy's CEO Larry Rogers remaining in that position. Rogers will report to Sarvary.
Tempur-Pedic, founded in 1992, makes and distributes mattresses and pillows in more than 80 countries under its Tempur and Tempur-Pedic brands. The company borrowed the memory-foam technology developed by NASA. Memory-foam mattresses conform to users' shape and position by reacting to their body temperature and weight.
Sealy, which was founded in 1881, makes a broad array of spring coil beds under brands including Stearns & Foster, Sealy and Sealy Posturepedic.
While Tempur-Pedic has a particularly strong presence in North America, Europe and Asia, Sealy has a strong presence in North America, Asia and Argentina.
Sealy also has strong brand recognition through its interna-tional licensees and joint ventures.
'In one action, Tempur-Pedic gains access to new slots at major retailers and independents with a complimentary product suite," wrote Brian Sozzi, chief equities analyst at NBG Productions in a note to clients. "Essentially, the company has fought to build a wall around itself from competitors that have demonstrated innovation." Sozzi estimated that annual revenue combined for the two companies is around US$2.8 billion to US$3.1 billion for 2012, making the combination the world's largest bedding company.
Stockholders with about 51 per cent of Sealy's outstanding shares have put forth a written consent approving the deal.
No additional shareholder approvals are needed to complete the acquisition.
Both companies' boards have approved the buyout, which is expected to close during 2013's first half.
Annual cost savings for the combined company are expected to be more than US$40 million by the third year.
The companies put the total value of the deal at US$1.3 billion, including debt.