Westinghouse Buys Knoll International

United Press International

Westinghouse Electric Corp. said it agreed to buy the assets and trade name of Knoll International Inc., which will place Westinghouse among the top three office-furniture makers. No other terms of the deal were disclosed.

Knoll designs, makes and markets modular office systems, office seating, desks and office accessories.

Westinghouse said it plans to combine Knoll and existing Westinghouse North American office furniture operations--Westinghouse Furniture Systems of Grand Rapids, Mich., the Shaw-Walker Co. of Muskegon, Mich., and Reff Inc. of Toronto--to capitalize on Knoll's global position.

The Westinghouse Furniture Systems, Shaw-Walker and Reff brands each will continue to offer their own product lines in addition to the Knoll product line, Westinghouse said.

"Knoll's commanding European presence in all eight Common Market countries will help establish Westinghouse as a leading designer and manufacturer of office furniture systems worldwide," said Westinghouse Chairman Paul Lego.

The purchase will include Knoll's headquarters in New York, all of its manufacturing operations in East Greenville and Iron Run, Pa.; Montreal; Milan, and Paris; and its field sales and branch offices throughout the world. Knoll employs about 2,800 people.

Westinghouse said it expected the purchase would be completed in the third quarter.

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