In 1978, Grant Simmons Jr. resigned. In 1979, Gulf & Western acquired a controlling interest in Simmons through stock purchases. They split the company into two entities, Simmons U.S.A. and Simmons Universal. In 1986, Wickes Corporation purchases Simmons U.S.A. from Gulf & Western, and one year later Wesray Capital and Simmons management acquired Simmons U.S.A. from Wickes. In 1988 the name was changed from Simmons U.S.A. back to Simmons Company, and in 1989 an Employee Stock Option Plan purchased all outstanding stock. Finally, in 1991, Merrill Lynch Capital Partners acquired a majority stock position. Edward Steed, a third-generation employee, noted what must have been a universal feeling among the workers: "... it was affecting this sacred thing, this company my father worked for. To many employees, it was that old biblical thing: 'There rose up a Pharaoh who didn't know Moses.' "

In 1996 Simmons exceeded $500 million in U.S. sales and about $800 million worldwide. As of 2003, they are the world's number one name in bedding with $1 billion in worldwide sales. The company is headquartered in Atlanta.

Simmons' Atlanta Headquarters
Simmons' Headquarters

Author's note- I would like to thank the Simmons Company, and specifically Mr. Roger Murray and Ms. Jo Ann Merritt for their help in providing information for this feature.

Be sure to check out Simmons' web page: http://www.simmonsco.com/

-Bradd Schiffman, March 2003

Webmaster's note- I would like to Bradd for his "tireless" efforts in putting together this feature presentation on the Simmons Pavilion. Many thanks to Mike Kraus, Bill Cotter and Rich Post for their contributions as well.

-Bill Young, March 2003