Hunter Douglas

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Hunter Douglas N.V.
Traded as EuronextHDG
Industry Window coverings
Founded Düsseldorf, Germany (1919)
Headquarters Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Key people
Ralf Sonnenberg, Chairman & CEO
David H. Sonnenberg, Co-President & COO
Marko H. Sonnenberg, Co-President & COO
Revenue Increase USD 2.45 Billion (2010)
Increase USD 154 Million (2010)
Number of employees
17,000 (2010)

Hunter Douglas N.V. is a Dutch public corporation and major worldwide manufacturer of window coverings and architectural products. The company is considered "the world's leading maker of window blinds and coverings".[1] It has been a successful worldwide business for decades,[2] and its CEO, Ralf Sonnenberg, who owns 80% of the company's stock, is estimated to be worth $1.55 billion,[3] making him one of the richest men in the Netherlands.[4] He has two sons, David and Marko Sonnenberg, who work for Hunter Douglas as the Co-Presidents & COO's

Hunter Douglas has its head office in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and a management office in Lucerne, Switzerland. The company is composed of 167 companies with 68 manufacturing and 99 assembly plants and marketing organizations in more than 100 countries. Hunter Douglas employs about 17,000 people.


In 1919, Henry Sonnenberg founded a machine tool distribution company in Düsseldorf, Germany.[5] His company later began manufacturing machine tools. In 1933 he moved his business to the Netherlands as a result of the Nazis coming to power[6] and established a machine tool operation. In 1940 he moved to the United States where he founded the Douglas Machinery Company.

In 1946, Sonnenberg established a joint venture with Joe Hunter which developed a "novel continuous casting process for the production of aluminum strip and related rolling and coating processes".[5] This led to the production of lightweight aluminum slats for Venetian blinds. The Hunter Douglas Corporation was established in the United States in 1947.[5]

In 1956, policy differences led to the sale of the U.S. business. Henry Sonnenberg moved Hunter Douglas' headquarters to Montreal, Canada as Hunter Douglas Ltd.[5] Using his European machinery business as a base, Sonnenberg concentrated on building the window covering business outside the United States. Hunter Douglas expanded its operations in Europe and into Australia, New Zealand[5] and Latin America.

In 1969 the Hunter Douglas Group went public, and its shares were listed on the Montreal and Amsterdam Stock Exchanges.[5]

In 1971, Hunter Douglas' Group headquarters were moved to Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The current corporate structure, Hunter Douglas N.V., was formed in the Netherlands Antilles in 1971 as a result of a restructuring of the previous Canadian entity, Hunter Douglas Ltd. For tax reasons, investors could select either common or preferred shares through 1990. The company operated in 75 countries at that time.[7]

In 1976, Hunter Douglas reacquired its former U.S. business.

Hunter Douglas continued its global growth and expanded into Asia.


Hunter Douglas manufactures and markets its products worldwide.


Hunter Douglas' European subsidiaries employed 7046 people in 2010 and achieved sales of € 738 million.[8]

North America[edit]

Hunter Douglas' North American subsidiaries employed 6303 people in 2010 and achieved sales of USD 995 million.[8]

South America[edit]

  • South American headquarters: Campinas, Brazil. Hunter Douglas' South American subsidiaries employed 1686 people in 2010 and achieved sales of USD 219 million.[8]



  • Hunter Douglas Australia Limited is an Australian incorporated wholly owned subsidiary of the international Hunter Douglas Group that commenced manufacturing in 1954.

The company's headquarters are in Rydalmere, New South Wales, Australia. In 2010 Hunter Douglas Australia had 405 employees and achieved net sales of USD 103 million.[8]


  1. ^ "Company News: Hunter Douglass to Purchase Comfortex". The New York Times. 26 June 1999. p. 3. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Leib, Jeffrey (May 25, 1992). "Hunter Douglas keeps secrets in shade: Broomfield window-covering firm expects $350 million in sales in '92". Denver Post. Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Ralph Sonnenberg: Profile". Forbes list of billionaires. Forbes. March 2013. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  4. ^ "In beeld: Zes Nederlanders op lijst rijkste ter wereld". RTL Nieuws (in Dutch). 4 March 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Love, Johnathan (1977). Jane's Major Companies of Europe. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company. pp. E–25. ISBN 9780531032640. 
  6. ^ "Profile". Canadian Business (CB Media). 1972. 
  7. ^ "Hunter Douglas to restructure". Montreal Gazette (Montreal). Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d e "Financial Reporting" (PDF). Hunter Douglas. 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 

External links[edit]