HOLLAND, MI – Contract furniture giant Haworth Inc. said it has sold its wholly-owned subsidiary Groupe Lacasse to an independent investment group headed by Sylvain Garneau, president of the Saint-Pie, QUE-based company since 2010.

The group of private investors includes the family of Guy Lacasse, the former CEO of the company prior to its purchase by Haworth in 2000. Details of the sale were not disclosed.

Founded in 1956, Groupe Lacasse employs more than 400 people. The company specializes in thermofused melamine office furniture, steel storage and filing systems, workplace systems and contract seating. Office furniture products are marketed under the Lacasse, United Chair and Nvision brands. The company also manufactures Think Smart educational furniture products.

Haworth President and CEO Franco Bianchi said the two companies would maintain “a relationship as mutual customers and suppliers.”

“Groupe Lacasse will experience greater opportunity to operate in the marketplace as an independent company, while maintaining a strong connection to the business opportunities offered by Haworth. It will be an exciting entrepreneurial opportunity for Sylvain and the entire team as they build on the positive momentum they have been developing,“ Bianchi said in a statement.

“This represents an exciting opportunity for Groupe Lacasse to strengthen our core business and drive our performance to the next level,” Garneau, the new Groupe Lacasse CEO and chairman said in a statement. “Our entire organization appreciates the support of Haworth and the confidence of our new business partners.”

This is the second international subsidiary sold by Haworth this year. On Jan. 19 Haworth announced the sale of its Italian operations to mutares AG, a management firm based in Munich, Germany. The sale included the Castelli brand.

Family-owned and privately held, Haworth net sales of $1.38 billion in 2011.

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