Wednesday, May 6, 2009 , 12:00 a.m.
The founder and former chief executive of Shaw Industries has increased his ownership in Chattanooga-based floorcovering company Dixie Group to more than 12 percent.
Robert E. Shaw, who more than 40 years ago launched with his brother what would become the world’s largest flooring manufacturer, made two recent purchases of Dixie stock, bringing his shares to more than 1.4 million, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Records show Mr. Shaw purchased Dixie stock in February bringing his ownership in the flooring manufacturer to 6.23 percent. He later purchased an additional 690,000 shares of the stock to put his total ownership at 12.08 percent.
Kemp Harr, publisher of Floor Focus magazine, said only chief executive Dan Frierson owns more Dixie stock than Mr. Shaw.
“(Mr. Shaw) got out (of Shaw Industries) at the top of the market, and he’s one of those guys that can’t retire,” Mr. Harr said. “He’s just one of those guys that loves the business, and I feel he sees this as a good time to get back in.”
On Tuesday, Dixie Group’s stock closed at $3.07 a share, up more than 25 percent from Monday’s close.
That places Mr. Shaw’s total stock value at almost $4.4 million.
Mr. Shaw stepped down from Shaw Industries’ top post in 2006.
According to Shaw, the company is wholly owned by Berkshire Hathaway, which is run by Warren Buffett.
Telephone calls to Mr. Shaw on Tuesday were not immediately returned.
Gary Harmon, chief financial officer at Dixie Group, said the company welcomes Mr. Shaw’s knowledge and expertise.
“Bob has been in the industry for years and is a pioneer in the business,” he said. “We are glad to have an expert as an owner. We think it is a real plus.”
Mr. Harmon said Mr. Shaw has owned Dixie stock for several years, but he has recently increased his stake in the company.
Mr. Harr believes Mr. Shaw has made a wise decision to increase his position at this time.
“I think Dixie is under-valued for where they are going to be when this market turns,” he said.Related Links
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