WAC Purchases 150 year-old Schonbek Worldwide, Leading Brand of Luxury Crystal Lighting
Port Washington, NY (April 19, 2021) – WAC Lighting announces its acquisition of all operating assets related to the Schonbek™ brand from Swarovski Lighting, Ltd. which includes the manufacturing plant that will remain in Plattsburgh, NY. WAC is a leading manufacturer of LED architectural, task and decorative lighting, as well as smart ceiling fans. WAC will now own and operate a key US-based factory that will expand its domestic manufacturing capabilities to include fabrication, finishing, and assembly.
The Plattsburgh factory will focus on made-to-order and custom products for all of the brands in the portfolio, including Modern Forms, dweLED, WAC Lighting, LIMITED and AiSPiRE. It will also play a strategic role in designing new products and developing new luxury finishes for all brands. This synergy underscores WAC’s commitment to vertical-integration and market expansion. Schonbek is a global brand with established distribution in Europe, Australia and the Middle East where WAC does not yet have a presence. This strategic acquisition can be expected to be a precursor to an introduction of the W Group companies into those markets.
“If not for the time Dirk spent at Schonbek and then Swarovski, WAC would not have been approached to carry on the Schonbek tradition,” opines Shelley Wald about her partner and co-CEO of WAC, Dirk Wald. “But veterans of the lighting industry,” continues Ms. Wald, “will likely see the union of WAC and Schonbek as a natural progression.”
According to Dirk Wald, an industry visionary who co-founded Modern Forms, dweLED, WAC Landscape, LIMITED, and AiSPiRE brands, “We are excited to acquire the Schonbek brand of luxury crystal lighting and collaborate with the talented people in Plattsburgh to continue this proud tradition. After July 1st, there will be a period of investment in the operations necessary to secure the future in Plattsburgh, beginning with a KILLER new product launch that we have been planning for several months, in anticipation of this acquisition. Leveraging WAC’s strengths in nimble product development, the new Schonbek product launch, to be unveiled simultaneously in New York City and Montreal this coming Fall, will represent the largest product introduction in the history of Schonbek.”
“My family and I were thrilled to hear this news,” says Andrew Schonbek. “Working with Dirk was a joy, as I witnessed first-hand his creative energy, passion for the product, impeccable design sense and understanding and advocacy of customers. I predict that these unique talents will soon find expression in a creative renaissance at Schonbek that will once again position it as a leading, cutting edge brand. There’s nobody I know of who’s better positioned than Dirk and WAC to carry forward the legacy that four generations of Schonbeks labored to build since 1870.”
Completion of the transaction is subject to various closing conditions. Subject to such conditions, the transaction is expected to close by June 30, 2021. Terms of this purchase are not available.
Founded more than 150 years ago in Bohemia, Schonbek Lighting is a world-renowned brand of luxury crystal lighting. Its story began in 1870 when young Adolph Schonbek left his grandfather’s glassworks to pursue his dream of making custom chandeliers with the finest crystal. By 1948, it had grown to become a world-wide export company. Adolf’s grandson Arnold, escaped the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia and nationalization of its industries, and re-started the business in Montreal and renting a warehouse in Plattsburgh in 1968. Schonbek was acquired by Swarovski Lighting, Ltd. in 2007 under whose banner it has continued captivating consumers across generations and multiple continents with its timeless crystal lighting designs. www.schonbek.com
A second generation owner-operated company founded in 1984, WAC designs and builds a wide range of intelligent and integrated LED luminaires and ceiling fans across renowned brands such as MODERN FORMS, dweLED, WAC Lighting, LIMITED and AiSPiRE. The company’s strengths in original design, emerging technologies, solution-oriented innovations, and vertical manufacturing infrastructures, have catapulted it to a position of leadership in the lighting and ceiling fan industry. The award winning product portfolio also reflects the company’s commitment to ecologically sensitive manufacturing while delivering elevated design and cutting edge technology. wacldev.wpengine.com www.modernforms.com