Dezeen Magazine

Louis Poulsen becomes latest design brand sold to Investindustrial

Scandinavian lighting brand Louis Poulsen has been acquired by Investindustrial, an Italian investment firm that also owns Flos, B&B Italia and Oka.

The 144-year-old Danish company – whose bestselling products including mid-century designs by Verner Panton and Poul Henningsen – is being sold by Polaris to Investindustrial for an undisclosed amount.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval, but is expected to be finalised by the end of September 2018. Investindustrial then plans to start an expansion plan for the business.

"We are delighted to welcome Louis Poulsen among our investments. The company enjoys a world-class reputation and forms an important part of our design-led portfolio of investments," stated Andrea C Bonomi, founder and chairman of Investindustrial.

"Investindustrial sees significant growth potential for Louis Poulsen and will work closely with management to grow its business," he said.

Panthella mini by Louis Poulson
Bestselling products by Louis Poulsen include the Panthella lamp by Verner Panton and the PH lights by Poul Henningsen

Investindustrial now has several established design brands in its portfolio. It acquired Flos in 2014, B&B Italia in 2015Arclinea in 2016 and Oka in 2017.

Søren Mygind Eskildsen, CEO of Louis Poulsen, believes the sale will open the brand up to a wider international market.

"The global lighting industry remains as strong as ever and, with Investindustrial's rich experience in the design sector and expertise in driving the internationalisation of brands, we are looking forward to working with them to achieve further international growth," he said.

Louis Poulsen & GamFratesi
Recent products by the brand include the sliding Yuh lamps by Italian duo GamFratesi

Founded in 1874, Louis Poulsen is one of many historic design brands based in Denmark. It established its reputation on the success of the Paris light, launched by Poul Henningsen in 1924, and went on to work with many celebrated designers such as Arne Jacobsen.

In recent years, its collaborators include Japanese studio Nendo, Copenhagen-based duo GamFratesi and Swedish designer Clara von Zweigbergk.

The company has showrooms in 10 cities: Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Los Angeles, Miami, Tokyo, Singapore, Dusseldorf and Vejen.

According to Investindustrial, the company generated a revenue of DKK800 million, approximately £95 million, in 2017.

The move forms part of an ongoing consolidation of the furniture industry, which has seen many well-known brands acquired by larger companies. Similarly, US furniture giant Haworth now owns Cappellini, Cassina and Poltrona Frau, while Casamania was recently bought by fellow Italian brand Horm.

Currently, investors seems to be turning their attention to Scandinavian brands. In the past two years, Danish brand Muuto has been sold to US company Knoll, while Hay purchased fellow Danish brand &tradition.