Steelcase acquires UK furnituremaker Orangebox
September 20, 2018 | 12:12 pm CDT

Photo By Orangebox

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Contract furniture giant Steelcase Inc. has expanded its reach into the global work collaboration market with the acquisition of Orangebox Group Limited, a UK-based designer and manufacturer of furniture for the changing workplace.

Announced Sept. 20, Steelcase's $79 million (£60 million) purchase includes Orangebox's outstanding capital stock less an adjustment for working capital, with an additional $4 million (£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 posted revenue of approximately $91 million (£69 million) over the trailing twelve months through August 2018. The company will operate as an independent subsidiary under its own brand and continue to support its existing dealers as well as Steelcase dealers.

“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's Wood Collection includes collaborative tables as well as armchairs, sofas and occasional tables.

Founded in 2002, in Hengoed, South Wales, Orangebox has created a concept it calls “Smartworking” – solutions designed to foster collaboration while improving efficiency.  The company’s portfolio of products includes seating, tables, "agile" workplace solutions and patented architectural pods for visual and acoustical privacy.

“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 on the company's growth opportunities, including marketing and distribution relationships with Blu Dot, Bolia, Extremis, FLOS, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, West Elm and the acquisitions of AMQ and Smith System.

Founded in 1912, Steelcase (NYSE: SCS) is an environmentally sustainable manufacturer of furniture and systems for the office, hospitality and healthcare industries, with brands including Steelcase, Coalesse, Designtex, PolyVision, AMQ and Turnstone. Products are available through a network of channels, including more than 800 Steelcase dealer locations. Fiscal 2018 revenue was $3.1 billion.

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About the author
Karen Koenig | Editor

Karen M. Koenig has more than 30 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As editor of special publications under the Woodworking Network brand, including the Red Book Best Practices resource guide and website, Karen’s responsibilities include writing, editing and coordinating of editorial content. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media. She can be reached at [email protected]