Franklin Partners advises innovative education products company in sale

Smith System logo and Steelcase logo

Smith System Manufacturing Company, a Texas-based manufacturer of progressive 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 inspiring, comfortable and healthy 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, healthcare, and office markets. “As education markets continue to grow, the combination of Steelcase and Smith System will create incredible value for our customers,” said Allan Smith, Vice President of Global Marketing at Steelcase. “Together, we can help schools create outstanding learning environments where students thrive, such as collaboration spaces, makerspaces and tech labs.”

“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. 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.”

— Molly Parnell, Vice President of Sales, Smith System

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

About Steelcase
For over 105 years, Steelcase Inc. has helped create great experiences for the world’s leading organizations, across industries. We demonstrate this through our family of brands—including Steelcase®, Coalesse®, Designtex®, PolyVision®, Turnstone® and AMQ™. Together, they offer a comprehensive portfolio of architecture, furniture and technology products and services designed to unlock human promise and support social, economic and environmental sustainability. We are globally accessible through a network of channels, including over 800 Steelcase dealer locations. Steelcase is a global, industry-leading and publicly traded company with fiscal 2018 revenue of $3.1 billion.

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