NXC Corp., a South Korean investment company, agreed to buy Stokke AS, ending more than 80 years of family ownership of the Norwegian maker of children’s furniture such as the Tripp Trapp highchair.
The investor’s NXMH BVBA division in Belgium plans to acquire Stokke, the companies said in a joint statement today. Details about the deal, which is expected to be completed in early 2014, are confidential, Stokke spokeswoman Kari Holm Heja said in an e-mail.
Stokke, founded in 1932 and based in Aalesund on Norway’s west coast, appointed Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) in June to examine strategic options, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. The company attracted interest from other furniture companies and private-equity firms given its growth, the people said at the time. Oslo-based Finansavisen newspaper reported today that the sale price is 3 billion kroner ($483 million), without saying where it got the information.
“With NXMH, we have found the right partner to transition Stokke from family ownership,” Rune Stokke, a member of the Norwegian company’s board, said in the statement. “NXMH’s expertise in growth markets as well as in e-commerce will greatly benefit the company and allow it to reach its full potential.”
Stokke, whose products include $1,100 strollers and $219 baby carriers, makes goods that be adapted as a youngster grows up. The company’s $1,000 crib can be used until a child turns 10, according to a listing on Amazon.com, while the Tripp Trapp can be used from the first bite of solid food through childhood.
NXC is the largest shareholder in Nexon Co. (3659), the Japanese maker of online game MapleStory.
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