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Herman Miller and Knoll announce new name MillerKnoll

Furniture brands Herman Miller and Knoll will henceforth be known as MillerKnoll, following Herman Miller’s acquisition of Knoll.

The $1.8 billion purchase was finalised on 19 July, 2021, following approval by both of the companies’ shareholders at special meetings.

While Herman Miller will now use the corporate name MillerKnoll, the Herman Miller and Knoll names will continue as distinct brands, as will its subsidiaries including Hay, Maharam, Muuto and Design Within Reach.

Brown leather sofas with a black wire frame next to a coffee table with an egg shaped top in a book-lined living room
The Wireframe sofa designed by Sam Hecht and Kim Colin and Rudder Table designed by Isamu Noguchi are two well-known designs manufactured by Herman Miller. Photo courtesy of Herman Miller.

“We are excited to introduce MillerKnoll, a collective of dynamic brands coming together to design the world we live in,” said MillerKnoll president and CEO Andi Owen.

“Our industry – and the world in general – is changing rapidly,” he continued. “Design is the way we imagine and shape a better future. In coming together, we will define and lead this transformation, like we have other transformations in our histories.”

MillerKnoll explained that it would continue to support and grow its existing contract and retail channels, and that it aims to use its complementary brand portfolio to “catalyse the transformation of the home and office”.

It also said it will be organising its global operations so that teams serve the entire enterprise, which means that jobs are likely to be cut. This will affect areas including manufacturing, digital, technology, marketing, strategy, finance, human resources and legal.

“We are a group of people and brands guided by a shared vision, common values and a steadfast commitment to design,” said Owen. “As MillerKnoll, we’ll push and inspire each other to innovate and design the future for all the places where life happens.”

Owen is the continuing CEO and president from HermanMiller, while Knoll’s chairman and CEO Andrew Cogan left the company with the closure of the acquisition.

A modern white dining table set in white plastic with pedestal bases in a classic home interior
Eero Saarinen’s 1957 Pedestal Collection is among Knoll’s designs. Photo courtesy of Knoll.

The acquisition took the form of a cash and stock transaction valued at $1.8 billion, which saw Knoll shareholders receive $11 in cash and 0.32 shares of Herman Miller common stock for each share of Knoll common stock they owned.

Herman Miller shareholders now own approximately 78 per cent of the company, with Knoll shareholders owning approximately 22 per cent.

Independently, the US brands were two of the most prominent names in modern design, with histories dating back to 1938 in the case of Knoll and 1905 for Herman Miller.

Some of the iconic designs made by Herman Miller include the Eames lounge chair and the Aeron chair by Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick, while Knoll had Marcel Breuer‘s Wassily chair and Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich’s Barcelona chair.

Together, they have 19 brands and a presence across more than 100 countries, with 64 showrooms.

The name change is subject to approval from Herman Miller’s shareholders, who will consider the proposal for a formal change of corporate name at their upcoming annual general meeting. Herman Miller will continue to trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol MLHR for now.

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