Formica Corp. has reached an agreement to sell the equipment assets of its Formica Flooring business to the Shaw Diversified Services Inc. unit of Shaw Industries Group Inc. The equipment, which is located in a leased manufacturing facility in Algona, Wash., is being sold to Shaw for cash and the assumption of certain liabilities. Formica is not transferring its brand name, products or designs to Shaw.

After closing of the transaction, which is expected during the current quarter, Formica will withdraw from laminated flooring manufacturing in North America following a transition period to permit Formica to meet its obligations to its customers.

The closing of the sale to Shaw is contingent upon the approval of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Formica expects to file a motion for the court's approval on Jan. 26.

"Formica's decision to exit the laminate flooring business in North America reflects the competitive nature of the laminate flooring business and the changing dynamics of the North American flooring industry," said Frank A. Riddick, III, president and CEO. "Not being a vertically integrated producer in this highly competitive business, we reluctantly concluded that it would not be economically viable for Formica to remain as a niche, stand-alone manufacturer."