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Knoll, Inc. Acquired by Herman Miller
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Herman Miller, an American company that sells office furniture around the world, has acquired Knoll, Inc. Both companies announced the sale, in a cash and stock transaction valued at $1.8 billion, on Monday.

            This highly complementary combination will create the preeminent leader in modern design, catalyzing the transformation of the home and office sectors at a time of unprecedented disruption. Herman Miller and Knoll collectively have 19 leading brands, presence across over 100 countries worldwide, a global dealer network, 64 showrooms globally, more than 50 physical retail locations and global multi-channel eCommerce capabilities, according to a news release posted on Herman Miller's website.

            "This transaction brings together two pioneering icons of design with strong businesses, attractive portfolios and long histories of innovation," said Andi Owen, president and chief executive officer of Herman Miller, in the prepared statement.

            "As distributed working models become the new normal for companies, businesses are reimagining the office to foster collaboration, culture and focused work, while supporting a growing remote employee base. At the same time, consumers are making significant investments in their homes. With a broad portfolio, global footprint and advanced digital capabilities, we will be poised to meet our customers everywhere they live and work. Together, we will offer a deep portfolio of brands, technology, talent and innovation, to create meaningful growth opportunities in all areas of the combined business."

            Owen, the current president and chief executive officer of Herman Miller, will continue in the same role of the combined company once the sale is complete.

            Andrew Cogan, the current chairman and chief executive officer of Knoll, plans to depart the combined company after a successful 30-year career with the company. During that time, Knoll received the National Design Award for Corporate and Institutional Achievement from the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, according to the news release.

            "This combination validates the strategic direction and our success in building a preeminent constellation of design-driven brands and leaders, and is a testament to the achievements of the entire Knoll team in bringing a contemporary perspective to how we work and live," Cogan said, according to the release. "We believe this combination offers significant benefits to our shareholders, clients, dealers and associates.

             According to Cogan, Knoll's shareholders will receive immediate and certain value, as well as future upside potential through ownership in an industry leader with significant growth opportunities. He stated that its clients, the design community and dealers will have access to an expanded, exceptional portfolio of brands through enhanced channels.

             "Our associates will benefit as part of a larger and more diversified company with a shared design legacy," Cogan said.

            Excluding unusual or non-reoccurring transactions, the combined company will have annual revenue of approximately $3.6 billion and adjusted earnings – before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization – of approximately $552 million, based on each company's respective last reported 12 months and including the anticipated $100 million of cost synergies, implying adjusted EBITDA margins of approximately 16 percent.

            Knoll Industries opened its first location out of New York City in 1945 at the former Horace Smith planing mill in Pennsburg. In the summer of 1961, it moved to a new 100,000 square foot facility on 30 acres at 1235 Water Street in Upper Hanover, according to the book "Montgomery County, the Second Hundred Years."

            The Upper Hanover facility currently serves as a manufacturing facility and as Knoll's corporate headquarters according to David Bright, the company's vice president of communications.






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