Fabled Baker Furniture Co Now Owned By Chinese Firm
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Baker Furniture, the high-end furniture company that burnished Grand Rapids’ reputation as “Furniture City” before leaving for North Carolina, is now owned by a Chinese company.
Kohler Co., the Wisconsin firm that acquired Baker Furniture from North American Phillips in 1986, announced it has agreed in principal to sell Kohler Interiors – which includes Baker – to a U.S.-based subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Samson Holding Ltd..
The $35 million sale takes Kohler, best known for its plumbing fixtures, out of the residential furniture business.
“Baker, Milling Road and McGuire target the upper end/luxury niche of the market and will serve as a complement to other Samson companies which compete in the middle and upper price point segments of the home furnishings industry,” according to a Feb. 16 news release by Samson.
Founded as Cook, Baker & Co. in Allegan by Dutch immigrant Siebe Baker in 1890, the company grew in the 1920s to become a pillar of West Michigan’s residential furniture industry with giant plants in Grand Rapids and Holland.
Though the Baker family sold the in 1929, the company went into bankruptcy in 1934 and Hollis Baker, son of the company’s founder, bought the company back, acquiring several competitors between 1948 and 1967. The company was sold to Magnavox Inc. in 1969.
Former Baker factories that have been converted to housing in Holland and Grand Rapids still bear the Baker name.
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Baker Furniture Sold To Chinese Company For $35 Million
Wisconsin-based Kohler Co., which acquired Baker Furniture from North American Phillips three decades ago, announced that it has agreed to sell Kohler Interiors, which includes Baker, Milling Road and McGuire, to a U.S.-based subsidiary of Hong Kong firm Samson Holding Ltd. for $35 million. The transaction closing date is February 28.
The sale will mean that Kohler is no longer operating a residential furniture business. Milling Road and McGuire will continue to operate out of offices in North Carolina and Indonesia, as well as from showrooms in North America, Britain and France.
We are thrilled to have found a buyer who appreciates our rich legacy of superior quality and exquisite design, and can support Baker, Milling Road and McGuire in achieving their full, long-term potential, says RussellTowner, president of Baker, who will continue to manage the business under Samson. Samson has had a consistent and successful track record in the home furnishings industry, and we believe this move positions us for future success.
Baker, including the Milling Road brand, was founded in 1890, while McGuire was founded in 1948. Samson, which specializes in the design, manufacturing and sales of residential and commercial furniture, was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in High Point, and also has offices and facilities in Taylorsville, North Carolina.
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