Stokke AS, the Norwegian maker of children’s furniture, has appointed advisers to explore a sale of the company, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
The company, based in Aalesund, Norway, and owned by the Stokke family since its founding in 1932, has appointed Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS:US) to examine strategic options that may lead to the sale of a majority stake this year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Stokke may have an enterprise value of about 400 million euros ($536 million), the people said.
“We have engaged an international strategic adviser to assist the company” said Stokke’s chairman, Wilhelm Mohn, in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Mohn declined to name the advisers or say whether Stokke was exploring a sale.
Stokke is attracting interest from other furniture companies and private-equity firms given its growth, the people said, with Stokke revenue last year exceeding 1 billion kroner ($173 million) for the first time. The company’s products include the “Tripp Trapp” highchair.
“Stokke is a healthy company and even in recessions, anything tied to children does fine,” said Cruz del Barrio, head of home and garden at research firm Euromonitor International. “It’s a good opportunity for private equity. PAI already has a retailer; Carlyle Group bought 60 percent of Tok and Stok, which is the Ikea in Brazil. Buyout firms could expand the company in Africa, for example.”
Stokke, whose products include $1,100 strollers and $219 baby carriers, makes goods that adapt as a child 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 adulthood.
Sophie Bullock, a spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs in London, declined to comment.
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