Franklin Partners Advises Innovative Education Company in Sale


Smith System logo 

Smith System Manufacturing Company, a Texas-based manufacturer of high quality furniture designed to inspire better learning and improve outcomes for pre-K-12 students, has been acquired by Steelcase Inc. (NYSE: SCS).

Founded in 1905, Smith System makes educational environments more healthy, comfortable and inspiring for students and educators. The acquisition is expected to advance Steelcase’s growth strategy to offer a broad range of innovative solutions to customers in the education market while providing a great outcome for Smith System’s shareholders.

From the Smith System website: “What teachers do day in, day out, flat-out humbles us. And we believe the right tools have a seriously positive impact for them. For us, those tools are seats, desks, commons areas, storage units and anything else that inspires better learning. Flexibility, versatility, comfort, style. It all matters. Because at the end of the day, it supports one cause. To enable the genius inside every student.”

Smith System will operate as an independent subsidiary under its own brand and will continue to support its strong network of existing dealers as well as extending its reach through authorized Steelcase dealers.

“We believe that joining forces with Steelcase offers us a path to accelerate long-term growth, while maintaining the agility that has made us successful,” said Molly Parnell, Vice President of Sales at Smith System. “Steelcase and Smith System have complementary offerings and we look forward to growing our business together in pre-K-12, higher education, and corporate learning environments around the globe.”

Franklin Partners initiated and negotiated this transaction as the exclusive advisor to Smith System and its shareholders. Mark Johnson, of Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A., was the lead counsel for Smith System.


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