Under the leadership of CEO Stan Jewell, Mount Airy’s Renfro Brands — formerly Renfro Corp. — has been slowly moving its corporate headquarters from Mount Airy to Winston-Salem.
Thursday, 100 years after the textile manufacturer was founded in Mount Airy, company management announced the firm has been acquired by a New York City-based holding company Renco Group. The purchase price was no immediately disclosed.
“We actively pursued Renfro Brands as they are the clear leader within their category and are poised for continued growth,” said Ari Rennert, president of The Renco Group. “With a unique combination of best-in-class owned and licensed brands, longstanding relationships with leading retailers, unparalleled development and supply chain capabilities, and a top-tier management team, Renfro Brands aligns with our values and represents the right opportunity to expand our portfolio.”
“The Renco Group is committed to making long-term investments in Renfro, building value over time by retaining earnings and reinvesting in the business,” the company said in a written statement announcing the acquisition. “Renfro’s existing management team, including that of the newly launched DTC marketplace Loops & Wales, will partner with The Renco Group on new areas of investment. Under the new ownership, investment will focus on consumer connectivity, operational agility and brand management.”
“We are thrilled by the opportunity to not only further invest in talent, performance marketing and technology but to also elevate our supply chain resilience through The Renco Group’s manufacturing experience,” Jewell said as part of that written statement. “We are brand stewards and this acquisition strengthens our commitment to position brand management as one of our core competencies to create and drive more value internally and externally.”
It was not immediately clear how this would affect Mount Airy-based jobs, nor how it might affect company jobs in the Winston-Salem market. Since Jewell made the decision to move the corporate headquarters to Winston-Salem, the firm has been drawing down its Mount Airy positions and adding many to Winston-Salem.
As of December, Renfro had about 300 employees at its Mount Airy facilities, and 5,500 in total at its various facilities. At that point, the company had 24 full-time workers in Winston-Salem, and Jewell said then he planned to relocate about 150 jobs from Mount Airy to Winston-Salem, with hopes to grow the job base in that city over time.
According to a Winston-Salem area publication, company official said they were moving the headquarters to Winston-Salem “because they want a more diverse workforce and a deeper pool of talent to draw from.”
The Renco Group was founded in 1986 by Ira Rennert, Ari Rennert’s father. The elder Rennert still holds the positions of chairman of the board and company CEO. It is a family-owned private investment holding company with more than $5 billion in revenue, according to its website.
Among the firm’s subsidiaries are the Doe Run Company, which mines and produces minerals and metals such as lead, zinc, and copper; Inteva Products LLC, an automotive parts supplier; Unarco Material Handling, a firm which produces pallet racks; and US Magnesium LLC, which produces magnesium products.
Attempts to reach the firms for additional comment were not immediately successful.