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Gambit Corporate Finance Acts As Exclusive Financial Advisor to Orangebox on its £63 Million Sale to Steelcase Inc

20 September 2018

Steelcase Inc. (NYSE: SCS) today announced it has acquired Orangebox Group Limited, a UK-based designer and manufacturer of furniture for the changing workplace, the latest in a rapid expansion of innovative products designed for the new ways people work. The acquisition provides Steelcase with the ability to accelerate innovative product development in Europe and around the world.

Gambit Corporate Finance acted as lead advisor to the shareholders of Orangebox on initiating, negotiating and structuring the transaction, which involves the acquisition of Orangebox for £60 million ($79 million) less an adjustment for working capital, with an additional £3 million payable to one of the shareholders over three years based on the achievement of certain performance obligations. Steelcase funded the acquisition by borrowings under its credit facility. 

Orangebox posted revenue of approximately £69 million over the trailing twelve months through August 2018. Employing more than 450 people, Orangebox has offices in London, New York and Dubai. It has operating and manufacturing facilities in Nantgarw, South Wales, Huddersfield and Michigan, USA.

The Gambit team was led by Geraint Rowe (Partner), Simon Marsden (Director) and Sam Forman (Executive).

 “We saw how Orangebox approached the changing landscape at work and their early recognition that more people want alternatives to the traditional desk, and to work in a range of postures,” said Allan Smith, Vice President, global marketing at Steelcase. “They understood people’s need for balance between privacy at work, and the shift toward high-performance team work.  We are really excited about bringing our portfolios together, and we see the opportunity to more than double the size of Orangebox’s business within five years by leveraging Steelcase’s global scale and distribution.”

Established in 2002, Orangebox created a concept they call “Smartworking” – solutions designed to foster collaboration and change cultures, while improving efficiency. The company’s portfolio offers a pluralism of design choices and diverse functions with high-performance alternatives to traditional seating, patented architectural pods for visual and acoustical privacy solutions and highly productive collaboration settings - all based on a deep study of how people need to be oriented toward technology and one another. Orangebox will operate as an independent subsidiary under its own brand and continue to support its existing dealers as well as Steelcase dealers.

“Our products enable organisations to work in new, more collaborative ways and can help transform both the culture and efficiency of the organisation,” said Mino Vernaschi, Managing Director of Orangebox. “My dream was for Orangebox to become a worldwide brand, with Steelcase this will now happen. Our cultures are so similar and we’re excited about becoming part of the Steelcase family.”

Geraint Rowe commented “We have worked with Orangebox for some 10 years. It is an excellent business that has been at the forefront of product innovation and design since its inception.  Orangebox is a dominant UK market participant. The acquisition by Steelcase will enable it to exploit significantly greater routes to market in the USA, Europe and Asia”.

Simon Marsden commented “The dynamics of the global office furniture market are evolving rapidly. The shift towards agile working and ensuring that environments reflect an organisation’s culture and current day working practices has resulted in substantial change in customer requirements and design initiatives. Orangebox is a cutting-edge participant in its market.”

Sam Forman added “The process was extremely efficient with completion occurring within 9 weeks of signing heads of terms. We look forward to the continued evolution of the company within the Steelcase family”.

Clark Holt Solicitors advised Orangebox and its team comprised Philip Humphreys, Belinda Walters, Karron Whitter and Jonathan Ashbridge.