Ocee International was established in April 2016 following Alistair Gough’s purchase of Ocee Design from his partners. This acquisition saw the creation of Ocee International Ltd., to expand Ocee’s presence beyond the UK market.
On 11th July 2016, Ocee Design announced the purchase of Danish furniture manufacturer Four®Design. Northampton based Ocee Design had more than tripled its turnover in six years, to become a significant player in the UK commercial furniture market. The creation of Ocee International Ltd signified a desire to expand Ocee’s presence beyond the UK market. The acquisition of Four®Design was supported by a minority equity investor in the form of BGF (Business Growth Fund) who recognised Ocee's growth and potential.
By combining acclaimed British and Danish design, Ocee International created a very strong product portfolio with an excellent customer service platform; the acquisition was completed to facilitate significant growth in both domestic and global export markets.
Previously operating as the UK Manufacturing Partner for Four®Design, Ocee Design had developed a close and very productive relationship with the Danish company. The Four family of seating products had been a significant contributor to Ocee Design’s growth and market recognition. The clean Scandinavian designs enhanced the profile of the company and perfectly complemented Ocee’s own highly acclaimed soft seating collections, such as Noah, Harc and HenRay. The strength of the relationship between Ocee Design and Four®Design was a significant driver in the decision to purchase the company.
Four®Design is a modern furniture company with sales throughout Europe and manufacturing partners in North America, China and Australia. Products such as FourCast and FourSure chairs have built its reputation for functional design without compromising its minimalistic style. Four®Design brought its design credentials, quality and international presence to the Group, whilst Ocee offered its depth of portfolio, service initiatives and expertise in the rapidly growing soft seating market.
In December 2017, Ocee International was listed in the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 fastest growing privately owned UK companies.
Also in December 2017, Ocee International announced the acquisition of Race Furniture. Race, based in Gloucestershire, has been at the forefront of the design and manufacture of seating for public spaces for over 70 years. Founded by Ernest Race to manufacture his own designs, the company still produces some of the most classic furniture of the post-war era, including the BA3 and the Antelope chairs.
Race is well known for its range of expertly crafted auditorium products and Eglin concourse furniture. It works with leading architects, designers and fit out contractors, with projects including: The National Theatre, The Royal Opera House, Oxford and Cambridge Universities, Gatwick and Stansted airports and many of the major conference centres in the UK. Its international activities include collaborating with Henning Larsen Architects to create the auditorium seating for the Royal Copenhagen Opera House and providing the seating at Newark and Houston airports in the USA. The product range encompasses standard, customised and bespoke products.
The rich heritage of Ernest Race’s designs will add to the Group’s own contemporary British and Danish furniture portfolio. Race will benefit from an international presence and the investment Ocee International can offer to its highly acclaimed auditorium and concourse seating business, as well as its classic range.
Ocee Design, Four®Design and Race Furniture maintain their own individual style, whilst being enhanced by the strength and service support of the much larger Group. By combining the businesses, the Group brought the expertise of the management teams together, creating a financially strong, meaningful domestic and international operator.
Ocee Design celebrates the very best of British and Scandinavian design and its portfolio includes furniture for reception, breakout, meeting and task seating, as well as tables, landscape systems and acoustic products.
Four Design is a Danish furniture company with sales offices throughout Europe; its furniture is characterised by superb functionalism and a simple, minimalistic design.
Founded by iconic post-war designer Ernest Race, Race is at the forefront of the design and manufacture of theatre, lecture hall, concourse and public area seating.