PITTSBURGH, PA – September 26, 2006 - Margaret Good and Thomas Von
Lehman of The Meridian Group have been selected for the Turnaround of the Year
Award - Mid-Sized Company by the Turnaround Management Association for their
work in the rescue of R. G. Barry Corporation, the Dearfoams® Company (DFZ).
The award will be presented to Ms. Good and Mr. Von Lehman at the national
TMA 2006 Annual Convention in October in Orlando, Florida.
The Meridian Group is an investment banking and financial consulting firm, headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, dedicated to providing turnaround consulting and financial advisory services to middle market companies.
“I am thrilled that The Meridian Group is the recipient of such a prestigious award,” said Ms. Good, President and founder of Meridian. “R. G. Barry presented some unique and difficult challenges that required a team effort between members of the Meridian turnaround team and company management.”
R. G. Barry, the U.S.’s largest wholesaler of slippers and at-home casual footwear, headquartered near Columbus, OH, got into severe financial trouble in late 2003 as it lost money for the fourth time in five years, racking up cumulative losses of over $48 million for the five year period. Its share price fell from a high of over $16 in 1998 to under $1.50 by early 2004.
The Meridian Group was engaged by R. G. Barry in January of 2004, and immediately began putting together a restructuring plan to reverse the pattern of losses. It also was charged with finding a new lender for the company as it had defaulted on its current bank loan. After accepting Meridian’s restructuring plan, the company’s Board of Directors asked Mr. Von Lehman of Meridian to accept the position of interim CEO to enact the plan. Soon thereafter, Meridian was able to obtain new financing for the company before the bank loan agreement expired. “The turnaround was very intense and required a tremendous effort by all involved,” said Mr. Von Lehman. “ However, it was also very rewarding. After another year of losses in 2004, resulting primarily from restructuring charges, the company made a marvelous recovery in 2005, earning over $8 million on revenues of $105 million.” Mr. Von Lehman’s replacement as CEO was hired in early 2006 and he has returned to The Meridian Group.
“I have never seen consultants work as hard as Meridian did for us,” said Dan Viren, CFO of R. G. Barry. “Working with the management team, Meridian developed a plan for a whole new business model within six weeks. We operated under that model in 2005 and exceeded the results from the original plan.”
The Turnaround Management Association is the only international non-profit association dedicated to corporate renewal and turnaround management, with 7,100 members in 38 regional chapters, worldwide.
Thank you for visiting The Meridian Group - Come back again.