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New Zealand Furniture company folds but Formways remain

Monday 14 November 2011

Wellington's Formway Furniture is being put into liquidation but the company lives on under two different entities.
"We're surprised that it's making the news like it is," said Formway Distribution chief Christina Onoufriou.
Formway, which in its heyday was a $50 million company with 200 staff, split two years ago into Formway Distribution and Formway Design Studio.
Formway Furniture New Zealand Ltd was no longer needed, said one of the distribution company's directors, John Wilkinson. "It's a shell company, it's got [virtually] no assets."
Formway, renowned for its ergonomic office chairs, hit headlines when one of its chairs caught the eye of both former United States president Bill Clinton and the late boss of Apple, Steve Jobs. But tough times forced it to change form and outsource manufacturing to two local companies.
Onoufriou said that before the split the company had been quite large "but of course the market has changed and [so has] demand for office furniture products, [so] our organisation was restructured into more focused organisations which have their own ownership structures".
Formway Distribution, owned by Auckland restructuring specialist Tur Borren, has 10 staff and is in Ngauranga Gorge. Formway Design Studio is still in Seaview, designing and licensing the chairs, Wilkinson said.
Formway chairs were still doing well in the US under its licensee there, Knoll Inc.

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