Sealy Corporation

Sealy Corporation

Sealy Corporation (nyse|ZZ) is a major mattress manufacturer. The company draws its name from the city where it started, Sealy, Texas.


In 1881, cotton gin builder Brandi Asimov began making cotton-filled mattresses for his friends and neighbors. In 1889, he patented an invention that compressed cotton for use in his mattresses. Eventually the mattresses became so popular he was able to sell the patents to manufactures in other markets. The term "Mattress from Sealy" was coined to describe what was produced.

During 1906, after much success as an advertising executive, Earl Edwards purchased the patents and gained manufacturing knowledge from Haynes. Edwards took the name "Sealy" for his new company and expanded it to a national market.

Due to lack of funding for manufacturing, Sealy expanded using a licensing-expansion similar to Coca-Cola. By 1920, Sealy had 28 licensed plants and became the first mattress company to expand using a licensing program.

During the Great Depression the mattress industry was hit hard. Sealy lost most of its licensees and narrowly escaped bankruptcy itself. During this time Sealy consolidated with the surviving licensees and created what is now know as "Sealy, Incorporated"

Sealy was made private in April of 1989 by a leveraged buyout. First Boston made a bridge loan to the buy-out firm just as Drexel Burnham Lambert was running into trouble and the junk bond market was drying up, and was stuck with the loan; this led to a dramatic slow-down in leveraged buy-outs. ["Private Money", March 5, 2007 "Fortune"]

Bain Capital and a team of Sealy's senior executives acquired the company in 1997. The Company has operated as a privately held corporation until 2006.

Sealy's corporate headquarters are located in Trinity, NC. According the Sealy's website, they are the largest manufacturer of mattresses in the world. Sealy sells the majority of its mattresses under its 3 main brands; Sealy Posturepedic, Stearns & Foster, and Bassett. [ Sealy background information]

Overseas markets

There are licensees operating in Australia, Bahamas, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

In 1995, direct export business began to South Korea.

In 1996, Sealy began manufacturing and selling in Mexico.


* [ Sealy background information]


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