SCHUMER: NEW DEAL IS BEING PROPOSED FOR HICKEY FREEMAN; HIGH-END SUIT MAKER SAMUELSOHN IN NEGOTIATIONS TO PURCHASE COMPANY ROCHESTER GEM IS DOING WELL, BUT DEAL WOULD BRING NEW WORK JOBS TO ROCHESTER
brbrSchumer Said That Rochester Company Has Been Doing Well In Recent Months, After Stabilizing in December Pending Deal Could Bring New Opportunity for Expansion, Boost CompanybrbrSamuelsohn, a Highly-Successful and Rapidly-Growing Suit Company, Is Looking to Keep Jobs and Add to Production at Rochester Plant Company Intends to Grow Add JobsbrbrDeal Has Support of Labor Union and Managementbrbr
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that Samuelsohn, a highend Canadian suit maker, is in negotiations to purchase Hickey Freeman, with plans to bring new lines of business to the Rochester facility, preserving jobs, and potentially adding new ones, in Rochester. Schumer has spoken with Stephen Granovsky coowner and CEO of Montrealbased Samuelsohn, and after investigating their plans highlighted that this highlysuccessful and rapidlygrowing company could bring more stability and growth opportunities to Hickey Freeman, should the deal be finalized. Schumer noted that Hickey Freeman has been doing well in recent months, after the December deal that was necessary to stabilize the company.
This pending deal would build on that foundation and would provide opportunity for continued growth and expansion, according to Schumer. Under the pending deal, Authentic Brands would license the Hickey Freeman brand to Samuelson and would aim to bring the Rochester plant to capacity, which is not currently the case. Schumer highlighted that the union for Hickey Freeman also represents the workers at Samuelsohn's Montreal factory, and that they support this tentative deal and believe Samuelsohn will bring financial stability to the company and the workers. Samuelsohn's plan would be to add more work to the Rochester factory to stabilize its current 350 union workers, and they then intend to add more net jobs.
"I will always fight to strengthen and expand Hickey Freeman so that this iconic company - and its hardworking employees - can remain in Rochester. Last December, I fought to shepherd a deal that would stabilize Hickey Freeman, avoid liquidation and bring them out of bankruptcy with the company and jobs intact. This pending deal could build off of that foundation and lead to new opportunities for expansion, production and growth. While this deal is not yet finalized, I am optimistic that with the workers, the union and the companies behind them, Hickey Freeman's facility, brand and workforce will be strengthened by Samuelsohn's proposed purchase," said SenatorSchumer.
In Schumer's conversation with Samuelson's CEO, he was told that if this deal is approved, the company anticipates growing overall net jobs at the Rochester factory. In addition, Samuelsohn is looking to expand and add additional business lines in Rochester. Schumer noted that Samuelsohn has a welldeveloped sales channel, with a presence in over 250 North American department stores, including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Nordstrom.
Schumer helped shepherd the deal in December that helped Hickey Freeman emerge from bankruptcy. That deal was critical to avoid liquidation and stabilize Hickey Freeman's business, but the factory has been operating below capacity since the bankruptcy filing. Sameulsohn could bring significant new growth opportunity for the Rochester facility and the Hickey Freeman brand, and would put the company on even more solid financial footing.
Samuelsohn employees are represented by the same union as those at Hickey Freeman in Rochester, which union representatives believe will aid in a smooth transition and maintain continuity. In addition, Workers United representatives have indicated that they have a positive relationship with Samuelsohn.
"We have been supportive of these negotiations and believe Samuelsohn would be a great fit for the workers at the Hickey Freeman facility. We believe this plan will bring more work to the Rochester Hickey Freeman factory and add jobs," said Gary Bonadonna, Sr. Manager Rochester Regional Joint Board, Worker United.
Schumer said that Doug Williams, who currently owns and operates the Rochester Hickey Freeman company, and Sameuelsohn executives Granovsky and Pollack are still negotiating terms for the potential deal, and hope to finalize it later this summer. As currently proposed, it is expected that Authentic Brands would license the Hickey Freeman brand to Samuelsohn, which would also acquire and operate the Rochester factory.
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