This week, Herman Miller announced acquisition deals with two European furniture brands. On Wednesday, the company said it is leading a group of investors to acquire Maars Living Walls (Maars), a global designer and manufacturer of commercial interior wall solutions. Under a preliminary contract, Herman Miller will acquire 48 percent of Maars for $6 million, with a contingency to increase ownership over time.

Then, on Thursday, Herman Miller announced it acquired 33 percent equity interest in HAY for $66 million, with the option to expand its ownership stake in the future. Herman Miller paid an additional $5 million for the rights to the HAY brand in North America.

Known for its modular wall solutions for commercial interiors, Maars was founded in 1946 in Harderwijk, the Netherlands. The company has since expanded its footprint to more than 45 countries. General Electric, Google, IBM, and Microsoft are among the company's clients.

Courtesy Herman Miller
Courtesy Herman Miller

“Maars products will be a key part of our offering that brings customers best-in-class solutions to help them create a variety of enclosed settings,” Herman Miller president and CEO Brian Walker said in a press release. “Now, more than ever, customers are looking for environments that are flexible, modular spaces, and Maars meets that demand with innovation and design at the center.”

“This acquisition strengthens our mission to improve people’s well-being and productivity by combining Maars Living Walls with the Living Office strategy of Herman Miller,” said Maars CEO Menno de Vries in the same release. “Maars will have access to Herman Miller’s expansive and strong dealer network in North America and their global customer base.”

Founded in 2002 in Copenhagen, HAY is mostly known for its lines of contract and residential furniture and accessories, with an extensive market in Europe and Asia. According to Herman Miller, going forward, HAY's product lines will be available through Design Within Reach, part of Herman Miller's family of brands. Additionally, an online store and four HAY retail locations will open in North America.

Courtesy Herman Miller
Courtesy Herman Miller

“HAY is one of the best articulated design brands in the furnishings space,” said Herman Miller CEO Brian Walker in a press release. “HAY is a key building block toward our stated priority to scale our consumer business. The HAY assortment will significantly expand our offer to a younger, more urban demographic that we have targeted for expansion.”

“Herman Miller is the perfect partner to expand HAY’s position in North America,” said HAY co-founder Rolf Hay in the same release. “On a personal level, Herman Miller and the work of Charles and Ray Eames are big reasons I do what I do today, and I am excited to align with a company that shares our sense of purpose and values.”

In 2014, Herman Miller acquired Design Within Reach, and in 2013, it acquired Maharam Fabric Corp. Other Herman Miller brands include Colebrook Bosson Saunders, Nemschoff, and Geiger International.

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