Standard Cos has agreed to sell its bath and kitchen products division to Bain
Capital LLC for about $1.8 billion in cash. The bath and kitchen unit makes bathtubs,
urinals, faucets, showers, sinks and kitchen accessories, under the Porcher, Jado,
Vidima and Ideal Standard brands.
accounted for $2.4 billion in sales about 22 per cent of American Standard''s
total sales, and has 26,000 employees. However, revenues have been on the decline
for years, and the unit made a net loss of $18 million last year.
private investment firm Bain will close the deal in the fourth quarter of this
year. American Standard, based at Piscataway, New Jersey, said it plans to use
the sale proceeds to repurchase common stock and reduce debt. Bank of America
NA and Credit Suisse Group are providing Bain with debt financing for the buyout.
job cuts or management changes are expected at the bath and kitchen division,
an American Standard spokesman said. American Standard shares closed up one quarter
of a per cent at $59.40.
Standard had announced in February 2007 that it would split into three businesses,
selling its bath and kitchen division and spinning off its vehicle control systems
is the final step in the plan. After the bath and kitchen business is sold, the
company will retain only its air conditioning business and call itself Trane,
after its strongest brand in that sector. Air conditioning brought in $6.8 billion
of sales last year, accounting for 60 per cent of the company''s revenue and 77
per cent of profits.
March 2007, American Standard sold the UK-based Venesta Washroom Systems, part
of its Bath and Kitchen division, to RS Building Products Ltd for about $165 million.
In July 2007, the company approved the spin-off of its vehicle control systems
business-which produces electronic braking, stability, suspension and transmission
control systems for commercial vehicles-into a publicly traded company to be called
Wabco, which will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the
ticker WBC on 1 August.