Combined strengths—Sobel Westex’s buyout of Baltic Linen

LAS VEGAS—Sobel Westex, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of linen and terry to the hospitality industry, is expanding its operations and offerings with the acquisition of Lake Success, NY-based Baltic Linen Co. Inc., a supplier of bed and bath textiles for the hospitality, retail, cruise line and healthcare industries. The deal, according to Sobel Westex, based here, will result in making it one of the world’s largest global textile companies.

“The combined strength of these two companies is a game changer that will allow us to increase our design mix and product offering, giving us the ability to better serve our domestic and international markets, creating an exciting opportunity for both our customers and our company,” said Walter Pelaez, CEO of Sobel Westex when the acquisition was announced earlier this year.

Baltic Linen has supplied its products to hotels, as well as leading department stores, specialty stores and mass retailers. Pelaez noted that the company was attractive to Sobel Westex because “it had four main divisions with strong market presence in hospitality, textile rental, cruise line and home fashion.”

He noted, “Also, with Baltic Linen’s customer base, we are now the largest manufacturer of core textiles [sheets and towels]for the hospitality industry. Baltic’s acquisition has helped solidify our three main pillars of design, manufacturing and distribution.”

Pelaez also pointed to Baltic’s Manhattan showroom, where the company’s in-house design and development team work, as another key factor in the acquisition. “Its design heritage and showroom in New York’s prestigious Fifth Avenue Textile Building will allow us to continue introducing trendsetting products.”

Baltic Linen’s hotel collection includes sheets, pillows, blankets, robes, room and pool towels and table linens. The bedding and sheets are offered under the Pure Elegance, Chelsea and Pyramid labels.

Baltic Linen CEO Frank Greenberg explained why the deal works for his company as well. “The acquisition of my 80-year-old company gave me an opportunity to share my industry knowledge with an organization that will provide continuity for the Baltic brand, as well as the excitement of being part of the sophisticated, professional and well-established team at Sobel Westex,” he said. “The global footprint of the combined entity is now an industry leader with limitless possibilities for our customers and associates. In a few short months, we have tackled many projects across our divisions that were a challenge prior to the acquisition.”

Sobel Westex supplies many of the largest hotel chains. It also provides its sheets, pillows, robes, etc., to households through Sobel at Home. Last year, as Hotel Business reported, it formed a home goods collaboration with celebrities Larry and Shawn King called Sleep Like a King.

For hospitality, this is a big move, and Pelaez was quick to describe what it means to the industry: “Sobel Westex’s acquisition of Baltic Linen creates an expanded premier and quality brand that customers in the hospitality industry have come to know,” he said. “Our global infrastructure, including mills, distribution warehouses, showrooms, offices and overall service capabilities makes us one-of-a-kind. We continue to further serve the industry with trendsetting design, speed and manufacturing alongside the quickest distribution network, easing the budgetary burdens on our customers. This brings our customers instant savings when they start working with us, ultimately resulting in growth of services and aggressively competitive prices,” he said.

Greenberg echoed his fellow CEO’s statements by adding, “The benefit to the hospitality industry is clear. The combined strength of our design, manufacturing, distribution and, most importantly, our people are creating new and exciting opportunities for our global customer base—with the added benefit of cost savings to our customers. The combined resources of our companies has created a powerhouse supplier that the hospitality industry will recognize as the leading textile company in our field.”

For Sobel Westex, which has showrooms and distribution centers in New Jersey; Orlando, FL; Honolulu; Bremen, Germany; Shanghai; Macau; and Hong Kong, the combination of the two companies holds endless possibilities for the future.

“Innovative products and new technologies will continue to roll out to our new and existing customers, which will constantly increase their value in services and guest experience enhancement,” said Pelaez. “Our hometown has become the world.”

Greenberg added, “Our forward-thinking and differentiated designs will continue to create the most exciting looks with license partnerships that are unique, bringing color and value to our customers.” HB

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