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ATLANTA-Steelcase Inc., the Grands Rapid, MI-based manufacturer of office furniture and furnishings, is buying locally based PolyVision Corp. in a $176-million deal that includes $103 million of PolyVision debt.

The transaction between the publicly traded firms is expected to close in the fourth quarter. The deal gives Steelcase entry into the corporate menu and merchandising boards market.

Alpine Group Inc. of New York, PolyVision’s principal common shareholder and the sole owner of PolyVision’s Series B and C preferred shares, is agreeing to vote its shares in the deal.

Alpine owns 48% of PolyVision’s outstanding common and 100% of the series B and C convertible preferred.

Alpine expects to receive aggregate proceeds of about $42 million for its entire interest in PolyVision, according to Alpine’s prepared statement. PolyVision shareholders will vote on the acquistion in November.

Alpine is a holding company for the operations of Superior TeleCom Inc., Alpine’s 51%-owned subsidiary. According to the statement, Superior TeleCom is the largest domestic wire and cable manufacturer and among the largest in the world.

In the transaction, all common shares of PolyVision will be converted into $2.25 per share in cash. Holders of PolyVision’s B, C and D preferred shares will receive cash settlements totaling about $33 million. The total purchase price includes all of the outstanding common and preferred shares of PolyVision.

In Aug. 27 trading, Steelcase closed at $13.44, down 20 cents (1.47%) on the New York Stock Exchange; PolyvVision closed at $2.19, up 34 cents (18.38%) on the American Stock Exchange; and Alpin closed at $1.70, up 20 cents (13.3%).

The 52-week highs and lows were $17.68 and $11.25 at Steelcase; $2.43 and 78 cents at PolyVision; and $6.50 and 87 cents at Alpine.

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