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Modern furniture makers collide as Herman Miller buys Design Within Reach

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Office furniture giant Herman Miller is acquiring the modern design retailer Design Within Reach. The pairing puts together two of the bigger names in modern-styled furniture: Herman Miller, which dates back to 1905, and Design Within Reach, which was founded just a decade and a half ago, in 1998. While Herman Miller is known in particular for its office chairs, Design Within Reach's fame doesn't come from any one category in particular. Instead, it sells a wide variety of home furnishings, some made in-house and others from famous designers (though, despite its name, its prices are not strictly within reach).

Herman Miller will pay an estimated $154 million in cash for an 84 percent ownership in Design Within Reach, with the deal scheduled to close on July 28th. For Design Within Reach, this purchase may be its saving grace. Back in 2009, the company went through something of a shakeup as its outlook began to decline. Since then, its stock has largely continued to dip, finally seeing its most significant spike in almost four years today, jumping from $5 up to $21.70 at close after news of the acquisition.