Preston Gardner, the president and CEO of gaming furniture manufacturer Respawn Products, has acquired the company through a buyout for an undisclosed price. Gardner shared on Linkedin that he has “exciting plans for the company, and a singular focus on the [gaming and esports] space.” Esports Insider first reported the news on Wednesday.
Before its sale to Gardner, Respawn was part of NYSE-listed HNI Corporation’s portfolio of furniture brands. The buyout materialized as the economic effects of the global pandemic forced HNI to initiate corporate-wide cost-savings actions in the third quarter or 2022 to save approximately $30M USD on an annual basis. Towards the end of 2022, HNI management approved a plan to exit the Respawn brand in 2023. HNI did not inform its investors about the sale through an SEC filing, indicating that the transaction was too small to have any impact on the corporation’s balance sheet.
Gardner’s acquisition of Respawn was supported by Ty Maras and John Gardner, who together with Preston Gardner, form the ownership team at furnishing solutions company Palmer Hamilton. Under its new ownership, Respawn aims to revive its branding efforts and offer furniture catering to the gaming and esports audiences.
The new direction for the company could potentially lead to new sponsorship deals with esports organizations and gaming influencers to increase exposure for the brand. Before HNI’s decision to exit the brand, Respawn sponsored several esports organizations, including FaZe Clan, Misfits, DarkZero, and Ghost Gaming.