Herman Miller buys Nemschoff health care brand
Herman Miller Inc. has acquired health care furnishing manufacturer Nemschoff Inc. for a $32 million cash and stock deal valued at about $60 million, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal
Nemschoff, of Sheboygan, Wisc., manufactures health care furnishings, and specializes in soft seating and furniture for patient care. The company also makes furnishings for the commercial office and education markets.
Zeeland, Mich.-based Herman Miller acquired Nemschoff for $32 million in cash and more than 2 million company shares, and shareholders may receive additional payment based on performance.
“In bringing Nemschoff into the Herman Miller Healthcare business, we immediately expand our product breadth and depth and accelerate our health care strategy,” Chief Executive Officer Brian Walker said in a company release.
The newly acquired company brings to Herman Miller’s portfolio a range of products, including waiting room and administrative office furnishings to designs for the clinical laboratory and pharmacy.
Herman Miller designs and manufactures interior furnishings used in a wide range of applications. The company’s award-winning designs are available through three business segments: North American Furniture Solutions, Non-North American Furniture Solutions and Other, which includes residential furniture and other business activities.
Schurman said that first and foremost, the integration efforts of Herman Miller and Nemschoff’s business will be the company’s primary focus for the first weeks and months.
“That includes things like marketing, sales and distribution channels, there are many, many elements,” he said. “We feel very positive about the wonderful synergies and complementary product portfolios for the two companies.”
According to Schurman, since Nemschoff already enjoys a strong brand and presence within the health care vertical market, Herman Miller does not have desires to change the brand drastically.
“The Herman Miller health care business as a whole is the umbrella brand, we have a better than 40-year history in health care and it’s really more of a question of can we take one plus one and equal three,” Schurman said, adding that Herman Miller will leverage the best attributes of both brands for continued success.
Schurman said that Herman Miller has no plans to relocate the team at Nemschoff and its physical plant locations will continue operations as normal. Chief Executive Officer Mark Nemschoff and Chief Operating Officer Paul Nemschoff will remain active with the company as well.
Marketing and relationships for Nemschoff is an area that the companies will examine further as it delves into operations post-acquisition, Schurman said, adding that Herman Miller hasn’t yet fully examined the marketing possibilities for Nemschoff.
“They’re good sized and have good recognition within their market, but the amount of marketing and advertising they’ve done is fairly modest, relative to their size, and I think one of the questions we’ll be examining more closely is how do we bring the brands and synergies together and leverage existing relationships,” he said.
According to The List database, Herman Miller works with Grand Rapids, Mich.-based People Design for some online marketing efforts.
According to The Nielsen Company, Herman Miller spent about $400,000 on media in 2008, almost all of which was spent on national magazine advertisement.
Regional or local agencies should keep an eye out for project opportunities within Herman Miller’s health care division. The B-to-B organization is still determining and analyzing its existing relationships as well as the possibility of new ones, so firms with relevant experience in the category should mark the company as a short-term prospect.