Steelcase Acquires Orangebox, UK-based Maker of Alternative Furniture
Steelcase Inc. today announced it acquired Orangebox Group Limited, a UK-based designer and manufacturer of furniture for the changing workplace, the latest in a rapid expansion of innovative products designed for the new ways people work. This acquisition provides growth-driven organizations around the world with an even broader range of unique furniture designed to boost collaboration at work and provides Steelcase with an engine to accelerate innovative product development in Europe and around the world.
“We saw how Orangebox approached the changing landscape at work and their early recognition that more people want alternatives to the traditional desk, and to work in a range of postures,” said Allan Smith, vice president, global marketing at Steelcase. “They understood people’s need for balance between privacy at work, and the shift toward high-performance team work. We are really excited about bringing our portfolios together, and we see the opportunity to more than double the size of Orangebox’s business within five years by leveraging Steelcase’s global scale and distribution.”
Orangebox created a concept they call “Smartworking” – solutions designed to foster collaboration and change cultures, while improving efficiency. The company’s portfolio offers a pluralism of design choices and diverse functions with high-performance alternatives to traditional seating, patented architectural pods for visual and acoustical privacy solutions and highly productive collaboration settings — all based on a deep study of how people need to be oriented toward technology and one another. Orangebox will operate as an independent subsidiary under its own brand and continue to support its existing dealers as well as Steelcase dealers.
“Our products enable organizations to work in new, more collaborative ways and can help transform both the culture and efficiency of the organization,” said Mino Vernaschi, Managing Director of Orangebox. “My dream was for Orangebox to become a worldwide brand, with Steelcase this will now happen. Our cultures are so similar and we’re excited about becoming part of the Steelcase family.”
This acquisition follows other recent Steelcase announcements aimed at growth by delivering a broad portfolio of products and providing a streamlined customer experience through the market-leading Steelcase dealer network. Steelcase previously announced marketing and distribution relationships with Blu Dot, Bolia, Extremis, FLOS, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, West Elm and the acquisitions of AMQ and Smith System, supplementing an already extensive Steelcase portfolio and offering greater choice and value to Steelcase customers globally.
The transaction involves the acquisition of all the outstanding capital stock of Orangebox for £60 million (or $79 million) less an adjustment for working capital, with an additional £3 million payable to one of the sellers over three years based on the achievement of certain performance obligations. Steelcase funded the acquisition by borrowings under its credit facility. Orangebox has posted revenue of approximately £69 million over the trailing twelve months through August 2018.