Architecture & Design and Manufacturing

Furniture maker buys remaining stake in design company for $46M

October 29, 2019
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Cloud Plain Armchair by naughtone
The Cloud Plain Armchair by naughtone. Photo via hermanmiller.com

A West Michigan furniture maker has acquired the rest of a “contemporary” furniture design company overseas.

Zeeland-based Herman Miller acquired the remaining shares of Harrogate, England-based naughtone for about $46.1 million, according to Herman Miller today.

Herman Miller acquired a 50-percent stake in naughtone in 2016 to help enhance its global offerings in ancillary and collaborative furnishings.

As a result of the partnership, naughtone generated average annual sales growth of 35 percent over the past three years. This helped Herman Miller expand its product design and development capabilities, fueling 11 new product launches and leading to numerous design and innovation awards.

Net sales for naughtone’s fiscal year ending in May 2019 totaled about $37 million.

“Naughtone has been a vital strategic partner in growing Herman Miller Group’s ancillary product offering,” said Andi Owen, president and CEO, Herman Miller. “I’m so proud of our shared values, as well the modern aesthetic and contemporary British design they bring to our family of brands.”

Naughtone has grown rapidly in the collaborative furniture market over the past 14 years under the leadership of Matt Welsh, Kieron Bakewell and Mark Hammond, according to Herman Miller.

“Our partnership with Herman Miller has helped us significantly grow our global market presence, especially in North America,” said Matt Welsh, VP of sales, naughtone. “This expanded relationship sets us up for continued success, and we look forward to working together in this new capacity to achieve great results.”

Herman Miller expects to consolidate naughtone’s operating results following the closing of this transaction.

Herman Miller

Founded in 1905, Herman Miller (Nasdaq: MLHR) is a global manufacturer of furnishings and offers related technologies and services through its family of brands.

In fiscal 2019, the company generated $2.57 billion in revenue and employed nearly 8,000 people worldwide.

Naughtone

Founded in 2005, naughtone aims to create “beautiful, useful furniture” and is known for “contemporary design and high-quality manufacturing, particularly in upholstery,” Herman Miller said.

Its products include the Always chair and lounge, the Polly chair and the Viv chair.

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