Evanston, Ill., February 24, 2020 – Industrial Opportunity Partners (“IOP”), an operations-focused private equity firm based in Evanston, Ill., today announced that it has acquired PolyVision Corporation (“PolyVision” or the “Company”), formerly a subsidiary of Steelcase Inc. (NYSE: SCS) (“Steelcase”). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
PolyVision is headquartered in Johns Creek, Ga. with manufacturing facilities in Okmulgee, Okla. and Genk, Belgium. The Company manufactures CeramicSteel (the substrate used in the manufacture of whiteboards and other writing surfaces), finished writing surfaces, and architectural cladding for use in the education, healthcare, commercial office, and transit end-markets around the world.
Peter Lewchanin will continue leading PolyVision as President and CEO. Mr. Lewchanin commented, “I am excited for this next chapter of PolyVision with Industrial Opportunity Partners by our side. Since our founding in 1954, PolyVision has helped companies around the world collaborate better with the products we have provided. In architecture, our CeramicSteel has become an integral part of infrastructure for public spaces such as tunnels, transit and healthcare facilities and more.”
Norm Young, an IOP Operating Principal, will assume the position of Chairman of PolyVision. Mr. Young is a member of IOP’s Board of Operating Principals which is comprised of experienced executives who provide leadership to the businesses in which IOP invests. Mr. Young said, “I am thrilled to be afforded the opportunity to work closely with Peter and the management team at PolyVision in growing their global business. We believe the team has built solid fundamentals, has a powerful strategy for growth and is poised for continued success.”
Christopher Willis, Director of IOP, added, “The PolyVision opportunity is an example of IOP’s ability to work with corporate sellers to execute complex carve-out transactions. We believe the Company has a strong position in its global markets and are excited to partner with Peter and the rest of the management team in continuing to develop new products and grow the Company.”
PolyVision represents the sixth platform investment for IOP’s third fund, Industrial Opportunity Partners III, L.P.
Cowen & Company LLC represented IOP in raising the debt financing for the transaction, which was provided by Guggenheim Partners. Winston & Strawn LLP provided legal representation to IOP in the transaction.
PolyVision is a global leader in the innovation and manufacture of CeramicSteel for a variety of industries. For over 65 years, PolyVision has helped make the world a better place by creating products that enhance visual experiences and connect people to their environments. PolyVision CeramicSteel is used around the world for traditional chalkboard and whiteboard surfaces, modern collaboration products for many of the world’s most influential organizations and architectural walls and cladding for public spaces. Headquartered in Johns Creek, Ga., PolyVision does business in over 65 countries. For more information about CeramicSteel and its uses, visit www.polyvision.com.
About Industrial Opportunity Partners
IOP, an Evanston, Ill.-based private equity firm with $910 million of committed capital since inception, is dedicated to creating value through investing in manufacturing and value-added distribution businesses with revenue between $30 million and $400 million. IOP focuses on businesses with strong product, customer, and market positions, and provides management and operational resources to support sales and earnings growth at its businesses. For more information, visit IOP’s website at www.iopfund.com.
For over 107 years, Steelcase has helped create great experiences for the world’s leading organizations, across industries. Steelcase demonstrates this through its family of brands – including Steelcase®, Coalesse®, Designtex®, Turnstone®, Smith System®, Orangebox® 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. Steelcase is 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 2019 revenue of $3.4 billion. For more information, visit www.steelcase.com.