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Steelcase sells off PolyVision in $74 million deal COURTESY PHOTO

Steelcase sells off PolyVision in $74 million deal

BY MIBIZ STAFF Tuesday, February 25, 2020 10:01am

GRAND RAPIDS — Steelcase Inc. has divested coated steel manufacturer PolyVision Corp. to an affiliate of Industrial Opportunity Partners, an Evanston, Ill.-based private equity firm. 

The $74 million deal allows Grand Rapids-based Steelcase (NYSE: SCS) to focus on “disciplined portfolio management in pursuit of growth.” Steelcase plans to use $41 million of the proceeds to pay off a note and use the remainder to invest in growth strategies, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

“This transaction enables us to provide greater focus and resources to our growth strategies while simultaneously allowing PolyVision to flourish under new ownership solely focused on its success,” Steelcase President and CEO Jim Keane said in a statement. 

Steelcase will continue to market some PolyVision-branded products. 

Atlanta-based PolyVision generated $48.2 million in revenue and reported operating income of $5.6 million for the first three quarters of Steelcase’s present 2020 fiscal year. 

The company makes a CeramicSteel product used in chalkboard and whiteboard surfaces and architectural cladding. All employees remained with the company under the new ownership. 

Industrial Opportunity Partners invests in middle market firms in the manufacturing and distribution sector with revenues between $30 million and $400 million. The private equity firm has more than $900 million of committed capital since its formation. 

Steelcase acquired PolyVision in 2001 for approximately $176 million, including $103 million in debt, according to SEC filings at the time. 

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