Dezeen Magazine

Herman Miller acquires Maharam

Herman Miller acquires Maharam for £101 million

News: American furniture brand Herman Miller has agreed to acquire New York-based textile manufacturer Maharam in a deal worth about £101 million.

The leadership of Maharam - a fourth-generation family firm founded in 1902 by Louis Maharam - will remain the same for the next two years, with current owners Michael and Stephen Maharam staying at the helm. They said the sale would provide the fabric company with "the greatest opportunity to flourish over time."

"Much as we have struggled with this decision, the realities of generational transition coupled with timing and circumstance in our lives have brought us clarity," they said in a statement yesterday.

"Our philosophical kinship makes this difficult step a far easier one. We believe that Herman Miller has the appropriate culture, intellect and resources to ensure Maharam a bright future while valuing our spirit and ways."

Herman Miller CEO Brian Walker said the deal was "a natural and complementary union anchored in our shared values" as it looked to expand its product offering.

The purchase price is around one and a half times the value of the fabric company's 2012 revenues, which stood at approximately £68 million.

The two companies have worked with the same designers in the past. Over its 111-year history, Maharam has created textiles for architects and designers including Gio Ponti, Hella Jongerius and Tord Boontje, as well as architect George Nelson and famed design duo Charles and Ray Eames.

In 1945 Nelson became director of design at Herman Miller, where he brought in a raft of modern designers including the Eames, who produced the majority of their furniture for the Michigan-based company while it was under Nelson's leadership.

We previously filmed a movie with San Francisco designer Yves Béhar in which he explains how a suspension bridge inspired his office chair for Herman Miller.

Photograph shows Charles and Ray Eames' Dot pattern fabric for Maharam.