Business of Design

Herman Miller Is Merging With Knoll For $1.8 Billion

Looking to take advantage of workplace renovations and restructurings as the pandemic eases, office-furniture company Herman Miller is acquiring long-time rival Knoll.

The Download: The storied office furniture companies Herman Miller and Knoll will officially merge in a deal valued at approximately $1.8 billion.

What’s Happening: Both renowned for licensing premier designs emblematic of midcentury modernism, both manufacturers have famously been the fiercest of competitors—until now. The two companies agreed to combine in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $1.8 billion that will undoubtedly result in a powerhouse design purveyor for the home and office. Under terms of the deal, Knoll shareholders will receive $11 in cash and 0.32 shares of Herman Miller for each share owned, equal to a premium of 45 percent over Knoll’s closing price on Friday. Then, when the deal closes, Herman Miller shareholders will own about 78 percent of the combined entity, while Knoll shareholders will nearly hold 22 percent. The deal is slated to close by the end of the third quarter.

In Their Own Words: “This transaction brings together two pioneering icons of design with long histories of innovation,” said Andi Owen, president and CEO of Herman Miller. “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. Together, we will offer a deep portfolio of brands, technology, talent, and innovation to create meaningful growth opportunities.”

Surface Says: Remember when the Ringling Bros. teamed with Barnum & Bailey to create the best circus ever?

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