MANCHESTER, N.H. & ST. LOUIS -- Carpet Co-Op of America has acquired for a purchase price was $13.25 million the franchise systems of Flooring America, GCO and Carpet Max Canada.

The purchase is projected to expand the corporation's annual sales volume to $4.5 billion and bring some 250 Flooring America and 100 GCO stores in the United States and 100 Carpet Max Canada locations into the Carpet Co-Op of America family. All franchises were part of the estate of bankrupt Flooring America Inc.

"With the Flooring America and GCO franchises added to our organization, we will be able to achieve much greater economies of scale and higher efficiency in key areas," said Howard Brodsky, co-CEO of Carpet Co-Op of America. “Among the most immediate benefits will be the ability to achieve significant reductions in distribution costs for all companies."

"We carefully reviewed the strategic value of these transactions with our Board of Directors and were very pleased by their enthusiasm," added Alan Greenberg, co-CEO of Carpet Co-Op of America. “We are also pleased that most of the existing management within the Flooring America and GCO organizations will remain on board."

The purchase of the Flooring America and GCO franchises is part of Carpet Co-Op of America's aggressive strategy for continued growth. Early last month, Carpet Co-Op of America acquired a majority interest in FloorExpo Inc., which serves the fast-growing residential builder's market.

Carpet Co-Op of America, founded in 1985, is the world's largest floor covering group, with more than 1,800 locations in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Guam. Annual sales volume in 1999 was more than $3 billion. Carpet Co-Op of America Association is headquartered in Manchester, N.H.; St. Louis, Mo.; and Atlanta, Ga.