Whether via acquisition or partnership agreements, West Michigan’s office furniture makers are looking to fill product holes with their recent spate of deals. In the span of about six months, Grand Rapids-based Steelcase Inc. (NYSE: SCS) and Zeeland-based Herman Miller Inc. (Nasdaq: MLHR) announced nearly $286 million in acquisitions. The deals signaled to industry watchers that the largest office furniture OEMs were getting serious about adding new capabilities, chasing sales and rounding out their product portfolios.
“I think most of the larger companies in the industry are actively pursuing acquisitions currently,” said John Kerschen, president and managing partner of Charter Capital Partners, a Grand Rapids-based investment banking firm that includes an M&A practice focused on the office furniture industry.
“A fair share of that (dealmaking) is this transition from selling furniture to being space solution providers for the entire space,” Kerschen said. “It’s about having product and solutions for the entire space, not just desk chairs.” more