Vitra new owner of Artek

September 6, 2013

Finnish furniture and design company Artek will now get its third owner since its foundation in 1935 – the design focused furniture company Vitra – after having been part of the Proventus group for more than 20 years.

Artek was established by architect Alvar Aalto and his wife Aino Aalto, visual arts promoter Maire Gullichsen and art historian Nils-Gustav Hahl. In 1992, Proventus became majority owner of Artek following an invitation from the families of the founders. This close partnership and collaboration has been successful. Proventus has since its start in 1969 looked for ways to combine different disciplines, like arts and technology, beauty and function, culture with doing business.

During Proventus’ ownership, Artek’s distribution and market presence has increased significantly with sales more than tripling. Artek has succeeded in strengthening its position in the international architecture, art and design arena as well as developing business relationships with world leading companies.

In order to successfully develop Artek in the next phase, Proventus has identified the need for a more international platform with added industrial capabilities. With Vitra’s widely recognized position in the industry – and the common perception that the cultural and business aspects need to be combined – Vitra’s acquisition of Artek, ensures that Artek is in a good position to further realize its potential. Artek is already Vitra’s distributor in Finland.

Vitra has shown an interest in Artek during many years, and Proventus and Vitra, as well as the Weil and Fehlbaum families, have developed close relationships. Vitra will acquire Artek as of 6 September 2013. Further details of the transaction are not disclosed. Vitra is a Swiss company dedicated to improving the quality of homes, offices and public spaces through the power of design and with initiatives like the Vitra Campus architecture and the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein. Vitra is perhaps most known for products designed by Ray and Charles Eames. Vitra was founded in 1950 and is, like Proventus, a family-owned company.


Journalist Hedvig Hedqvist on Artek, Proventus and Vitra