Schonbek, headquartered in Plattsburgh, New York, (www.schonbek.com) is the leading designer, marketer, and manufacturer of fine crystal chandeliers in the world, and is one of the most recognized and respected decorative lighting brands worldwide. Schonbek traces its founding to 1870 in Bohemia, and believes it is the oldest, continuously family-owned and operated lighting company in the world. Schonbek’s passion for innovative design and strategic marketing has resulted in the crystal chandelier becoming an admired fashion statement for both traditional and contemporary interiors. In addition to its best-known chandelier lines, Schonbek offers a range of other fine crystal collections, including Geometrix®, a unique product family of crystal fixtures, as well as crystal pendants and table lamps. The Company is recognized as the design leader in crystal lighting, as exemplified by having won the premier Arts Award from the decorative accessories industry on five separate occasions, making it the only lighting company to do so.
Swarovski, (www.swarovski.com) founded in 1895 also in Bohemia, is one of the most recognized luxury brands in the world. Swarovski has grown to be the world’s leading producer of precision-cut crystal components and crystal elements catering to design-driven industries such as fashion, lighting and interior design. Swarovski branded lines of accessories, jewelry, and home décor are sold through more than 1,150 Swarovski stores and concessions in all major fashion capitals. Headquartered in Wattens, Austria, family-owned and run by 4th and 5th generation family members, Swarovski has global reach with approximately 20,000 employees and annual turnover of over 2 billion Euros.
Schonbek Worldwide Lighting Inc. and its affiliated companies (“Schonbek”) announced recently that it has been acquired by Swarovski US Holding Ltd., a subsidiary of Swarovski International Holding (“Swarovski”). This transaction is the successful culmination of an initiative led by The Bigelow Company LLC on behalf of Schonbek to globally seek the “Next Majority Investor” for it. In addition to providing liquidity, partnering with Swarovski will provide an extremely strong financial foundation with accelerated access to global markets.
“I’m motivated by a sense of stewardship; this company is a living organism that I want to see survive and flourish. I feel a degree of connectedness and relationship with Bigelow – and that’s a precious thing. The sale of a family business is always emotional. Advisors are interacting on many levels, and Bigelow has a high degree of empathy and emotional intelligence.” Andrew Schonbek, 4th Generation & CEO Schonbek Worldwide Lighting
Robert E. MacLeod, Managing Director of Bigelow, remarked, “Who in the world but Swarovski would most appreciate Schonbek’s heritage, brand, innovation, and heirloom quality? Bringing together the two privately held worldwide crystal leaders, each of whom trace their founding roots back to Bohemia in the late 1800’s, is an exceptional fit. Both families share parallel histories and a consistent view on the astonishing qualities of crystal.”
“I found a kindred spirit in Bigelow. I know a lot about buying and selling businesses. Bigelow is focused on the entrepreneur and they do it well. Bigelow gave this their complete attention, 24/7 service, and never left the scene. Schonbek needed an advisor all along the way and they were always there.” Hillel Rosen, Partner Davies Ward Phillips and Vineberg LLP