Dezeen Magazine

Moooi founders regain majority ownership of brand

Dezeen Wire:
 Marcel Wanders and Casper Vissers, the founders of Dutch design brand Moooi, have bought back shares from investors to become majority owners of the company they started in 2001.

Wanders and Vissers have acquired the 10% stake owned by Hans Lensvelt and half of the 50% stake owned by Italian brand B&B Italia, to take their combined holdings to 75%.

See more stories about products and furniture by Moooi here or click here to see all our stories about designer Marcel Wanders.

Here's some extra information from Moooi:

From the end of February this year a major change has taken place in the financial structure of Dutch ground breaking design brand Moooi. After seven years of having owned half of the company’s shares, the time has come for the Moooi founders Casper Vissers and Marcel Wanders to regain their majority and reaffirm their strong belief in the company’s value and immense potential.

This story starts 12 years ago, when the paths of Marcel Wanders and Casper Vissers crossed. Ever since they have collaborated intensively together, sharing the same passion for beauty & design. They complemented each other right from the beginning and to this day Marcel is the obstinate, passionate designer with a nose for business, and Casper the driven marketer with a keen eye for design. They represent the perfect synergy between passion & ratio.

They founded Moooi in 2001, dividing the company’s shares equally, and decided to name the venture after the native Dutch word for beautiful: the third ‘o’ in the brand name standing for an extra value in terms of beauty & uniqueness.

After one year both founders teamed up with entrepreneur Hans Lensvelt, who owns the office furniture business LENSVELT in Breda and was thrilled to get on board. He gave Moooi a home by exchanging his facilities and a small money injection for a share of 33,33% in Moooi.
Moooi was a steady growing business that gained huge attention in the international design field, becoming a famous brand that conquered an important position in the design industry, with a portfolio that already included pieces from nationally & internationally recognised designers. The collection has always been exclusive, daring, playful, exquisite & based on the belief that design is an expression of love.

Moooi's success rapidly spread far beyond the Dutch borders and in 2006 Giorgio Busnelli, the Chairman of B&B Italia, one of the design leaders of the international furniture industry, saw its potential and acquired 50% of Moooi's shares. To everyone’s satisfaction the synergy between B&B Italia & Moooi, under the full management of Vissers and Wanders, worked out very well. During the last six years Moooi has continued to grow speedily and tripled its capacity up to a 17 million euro turnover in 2011.

Wanders and Vissers have been running Moooi ever since its launch in 2001. Wanders acting as art director & main designer and Vissers as company CEO. A couple of months ago they proposed new share positions which would reflect better the created synergy for Moooi. As a result of this, last Wednesday the 29th of February, the original founders Marcel Wanders and Casper Vissers bought back the remaining Hans Lensvelt share of 10% and half of B&B Italia's quota, regaining the majority of Moooi’s shares. In the end 75% of Moooi’s shares are back to the company’s founders and 25% remain with B&B Italia, still an esteemed and synergetic partner for the company’s business. Hans Lensvelt will always be regarded as a member of honor and lifetime friend for Moooi.

The coming years will represent strong continuous growth for Moooi. The team is now ready to progressively expand the current distribution pattern. All regions are growing with huge upside and there are great opportunities in areas like the Far East & South America where currently Moooi's business is growing at a very fast pace. Wanders, Vissers and B&B Italia will continue building and growing Moooi’s potential with their winning team of talented people. "The people working for Moooi are the largest asset of the company and the reason why the investment was done last week", explains Casper Vissers.

During the last eleven years it has been broadly proven that Moooi has the knowledge, people & facilities to continue growing in the design branch. “Moooi is “the unexpected welcome” with its playful, daring and innovative design icons, but perhaps also for the way we do our business” pronounces Casper Vissers. As Marcel and Casper well know this is their story, the biography of Moooi and a lifetime achievement. A constant adventure with lots of great opportunities, battles to be fought and of course, as all real stories it has an open end...