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Tarkett targets hospitality sector via Lexmark deal

September 3/10, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 6

By Ken Ryan


Tarkett, which has steadily grown its commercial carpet footprint through acquisition since 2012, has signed an agreement to acquire 100% of Lexmark Carpet Mills.

Glen Morrison, CEO of Tarkett, said the acquisition of Lexmark will position Tarkett as one of the leaders in the hospitality segment in North America while further strengthening Lexmark’s offering in this segment. The move is expected to help Tarkett broaden its reach in North America, where Lexmark has its production, and tap into the hospitality segment with brands such as Marriott.

Dalton-based Lexmark produces carpet primarily for the North American hospitality segment, although in recent years it has extended its product range to address the residential market. Lexmark operates one plant in the U.S., which generated an estimated $120 million in sales in 2017.

In a statement, Paul Cleary, CEO of Lexmark, said the two companies share the same vision and entrepreneurial values, which will create an even stronger entity. “Within the Tarkett group, we will be able to offer a larger choice of products to our customers and partners and provide an even stronger offering.” Cleary said he could not expand any more on the pending acquisition, citing Tarkett’s position as a publicly traded entity. However, other sources said they believe Lexmark will run as a separate company with Tarkett. Augusta, Maine-based NRF Distributors, which handles both accounts, sees the acquisition as mutually beneficial. “The overall direction of the branding and bundling possibilities together will be very exciting,” Leah Ledoux, vice president of corporate commercial strategy, told FCNews. “You take Lexmark residential carpet, which is very strong, and the brilliance of Tarkett on style and design—the ability to co-brand is very powerful.”

Ledoux said Lexmark has other advantages that are enticing to Tarkett. First, it is an American manufacturer; second, it has a relationship with the big hospitality brands (including Marriott) that Tarkett wants to go after. “It will be great for both sides,” she said.

Once completed, the purchase will mark Tarkett’s third acquisition of a carpet producer in less than seven years. In September 2012, Tarkett acquired Tandus Flooring (now Tandus Centiva) in a move that allowed Tarkett to expand into the commercial carpet business in North America and Asia Pacific. Two years later, Tarkett acquired Dutch carpet maker Desso from Bencis Capital Partners. With that purchase, Tarkett became a dominant supplier of wall-to-wall carpet for offices, hotels and other public spaces in Europe. The combination of Tandus and Desso also gave Tarkett the ability to provide commercial carpet solutions to all customers worldwide.