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Haworth Buys Poltrona Frau Stake

The completion of the transaction is expected to take place by the end of April.

Haworth Inc. has taken a 58.6 percent stake in Italy’s high-end furnishing company Poltrona Frau SpA from shareholders Charme Investments Ltd. and Moschini Srl, with plans to launch a public tender offer and delist the firm.

Italian equity fund Charme, which previously held a 51.3 percent stake in Poltrona Frau, also controls luxury knitwear brand Ballantyne.

Holland, Mich.-based Haworth has agreed to pay 2.96 euros, or $4 at current exchange, a share. The completion of the transaction is expected to take place by the end of April.

Haworth was founded in 1948 by the namesake family, who still owns the company, and is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of flexible and sustainable workspaces, with product lines that include movable walls, systems furniture, chairs, floating floors and communication technologies, with sales of $1.4 billion last year. The company has been a partner of Poltrona Frau for North America since 2011.

Franco Moschini, president of Poltrona Frau, defined the deal as “the realization of a big dream, the creation of the most important global operator in the industry of luxury furnishing.”

Matteo Cordero di Montezemolo, managing director of Charme and vice president of Poltrona Frau, said that “after an investment cycle that lasted more than 10 years, this transaction represents the best conclusion of Charme’s adventure in Poltrona Frau Group and is above all an extraordinary opportunity for the strengthening of the group.” Di Montezemolo underscored that, between 2003 and 2006, Charme created the group by investing in Poltrona Frau, Cassina and Cappellini, followed by a listing on the Italian Stock Exchange.

“The second phase of this important development, subsequent to the listing, has been characterized by a strong international growth of the Group that as of today operates in more than 65 countries worldwide, with more than 70 stores under its own brand. Today Charme has decided to set up a new ambitious phase for Poltrona Frau Group, by creating, together with the Haworth family, the worldwide leader in the industry.”

By early afternoon, Poltrona Frau shares had climbed 18.05 percent to 2.93 euros, or $3.96, on Wednesday.