Group buys majority stake of Electrolux Engles Urso expands direct-sales holdings


DALLAS -- A Dallas investment group said yesterday that it bought the operating assets of Electrolux Corp. from Sara Lee Corp. and three banks for an undisclosed price to expand its holdings in the direct-sales industry.

Closely held Engles Urso Follmer Capital Corp. said it acquired most of Electrolux, a direct seller of vacuum cleaners and floor-care products, from Sara Lee, Wells Fargo & Co., Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and BankBoston Corp.

Engles Urso formerly was the U.S. arm of Sweden's Electrolux AB, a maker of appliances and outdoor products.

Atlanta-based Electrolux has over 500 sales centers in the United States and Canada. The company posted more than $250 million in sales last year, said Engles Urso, which owns majority stakes in other direct-sales companies, including Interstate Engineering, which makes and sells vacuum cleaners.

"The affiliation will enable both companies to realize substantial growth," said Joseph Urso, chairman and chief executive of Engles Urso and Electrolux. "We [Engles Urso] intend to be very active in the direct-sales industry."

Urso has replaced former Chief Executive Thomas Albani, who has left Electrolux. Urso said he doesn't anticipate "any major changes" at the company.

Officials at Sara Lee and the three banks weren't available to comment.

Pub Date: 5/05/98

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