With the pandemic having turned the office furniture market upside down, two industry giants have decided to join forces. This week Herman Miller and Knoll jointly announced that the former will acquire the latter for $1.8 billion, with the deal expected to close in Q3. "This highly complementary combination will create the pre-eminent leader in modern design, catalyzing the transformation of the home and office sectors at a time of unprecedented disruption," the companies say, on their new website--named NewLeaderinModernDesign.com.
The team-up is expected to yield $100 million in savings over the first two years through "cost synergies," i.e. eliminating redundancies. It will also yield a formidable portfolio of brands, with HM's Design Within Reach, Colebrook Bosson Saunders and HAY now sharing stables with Knoll Office, KnollStudio and Muuto, among others. The complete list is below, with parentheticals for the brands you may not be as familiar with:
"Herman Miller produces the world's bestselling office chair," Andi Owen, HM CEO, told analysts on a post-deal-announcement call. "Knoll manufactures the world's most recognizable table." While Owen did not elaborate further, we can definitely assume she's referring to the Aeron for the first; as for the second, it's got to be the Saarinen Dining Table, no? Take a look and tell us if you think any of these are more famous.
If you want to listen to the webcast of the announcement and/or see the transaction infographics and investor presentation, it's all here.