Formica Corp. has reached an agreement to sell the equipment assets of its Formica Flooring business to the Shaw Diversified Services 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 the close of the transaction, which is expected during the current quarter, Formica will withdraw from laminate floor manufacturing in North America following a transition period to permit Formica to meet its outstanding obligations to customers.

"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" of laminate flooring, said Frank A. Riddick III, Formica Flooring president and CEO.