Founded in 1975, Latex International (“Latex”) grew out of the molds and presses salvaged from a fire that burned a BF Goodrich latex foam plant to the ground. Starting with pillows, the business expanded to make mattresses in 1980 and is the leading manufacturer of latex bedding components. The headquarters, the foam plant and the Northeast fabrication site are all in Shelton, CT. Latex also has fabrication sites in Atlanta, GA and Los Angeles, CA.
Latex had grown steadily since its inception, but Pouschine Cook saw a traditional family business that could benefit from updating its business model. The opportunity was to evolve from a technical, engineer-driven business to a marketing, customer-driven enterprise. Additionally, the penetration of latex foam as a raw material into the U.S. mattress business was low compared to other markets, providing substantial growth potential.
Pouschine Cook was introduced to Latex as a potential equity partner to finance an acquisition, assist in building the business and upgrade corporate governance. Pouschine Cook’s purchase of a strategic non-control equity position was structured to minimize dilution to the existing shareholders.
We established proper corporate governance, led a restructuring of top management and helped to establish a customer-focused sales, marketing and product development-driven business.
Latex had a catastrophic fire in 2001, in which the plant burned to the ground. Pouschine Cook executives were there the next day to help management navigate the recovery steps and to plan the rebuilding. The new plant opened one year later. The company’s sales growth has been well into the double digits since then.