Design Holding makes Salone del Mobile debut with "probably the biggest" stand ever at the fair

The B&B Italia space includes a private area for guests of the brand

The B&B Italia space includes a private area for guests of the brand

Design Holding, the new furniture and lighting group made up of B&B Italia, Flos and Louis Poulsen, has marked its first show at Salone del Mobile by presenting the biggest stand the Milan fair has seen in decades.

The vast booth covers 4,000 square metres and includes displays by the three brands plus a private area and a mezzanine.

The stand marks the first time the companies have exhibited together since the formation of Design Holding in September 2018.

"It's probably the biggest, if not one of the biggest in the history of Salone del Mobile," said Piero Gandini, chairman of Design Holding and CEO of Flos.

"We didn't make a big booth to say that we are big guys," he added. "We need the surface area to display what we are offering."

Design Holding brings together Italian furniture brand B&B Italia and lighting company Flos with Danish lighting firm Louis Poulsen.

The group is backed by private equity firms Investindustrial and The Carlyle Group, which both own 48 per cent of the company, with Gandini and B&B Italia's Giorgio Busnelli sharing the remaining four per cent.

Design Holding creates a European rival to groups such as Haworth, the American furniture giant that bought Italy's Poltrona Frau group in 2014.

US firm Herman Miller has also been acquiring like-minded companies, buying textile brand Maharam in 2013 and retailer Design Within Reach in 2014. Last year it acquired a 33 per cent stake in Danish design brand Hay.

"Design Holding is the largest global high-end design group with a European heritage," said the group in a statement, adding that it "aims to further grow globally through acquisitions as well."