Steelcase to Acquire Custom Cable

Aug. 9, 2001

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - Steelcase Inc. the nation's largest office furniture maker, plans to acquire Custom Cable Industries Inc., a designer, manufacturer and installer of data and voice cabling.

Steelcase is scheduled to announce Thursday that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Custom, according to a news release. The transaction is expected to be completed by Aug. 24 and terms were not disclosed.

Steelcase, which is based in Grand Rapids, said the acquisition will enhance its ability to develop products that integrate architecture, furniture and technology.

``By leveraging our knowledge of the workplace, Steelcase can now extend the flexible aspects of furniture into the building's infrastructure,'' said Dave Levitt, general manager for Steelcase Technology Infrastructure products. ``Customers benefit from modular architectural power and communications cabling systems.

``When you combine these with a comprehensive portfolio of lighting, furniture, walls and floors, it adds up to an integrated, holistic work environment that's both user-focused and a smart investment for the building owner or tenant.''

Rick Watson, executive vice president of Custom, said the deal will provide his Tampa, Fla.-based company with an opportunity to offer its goods and services on a nationwide basis.

Custom, founded in 1980, is a regional leader in the structured-cable installation industry and a manufacturer of network-cable assemblies for the data and telecommunications industries. It has about 220 employees at three locations in Florida.

Steelcase has more than 20,000 employees at more than 30 locations around the world.

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