Sun Capital in exit to Japanese buyer

Japanese building products company Lixil has agreed to buy American Standard for an enterprise value of $542m.

As part of an aggressive global expansion plan, Japanese strategic buyer Lixil has acquired ASD Americas Holding from US private equity firm Sun Capital Partners, in a deal that values the company at JPY 53.1 billion (€411 million; $542 million), according to a company statement. 

Lixil is taking a 100 percent interest in the business, which is the parent company to well-known bathroom products maker American Standard. The deal remains subject to shareholder approval. 

Sun Capital acquired American Standard in 2007 from fellow US private equity house Bain Capital for an undisclosed sum, according to an earlier company statement. Bain divested the bath product operation from its parent American Standard Companies, which it acquired earlier in 2007 in a $1.76 billion deal.  

Currently in the US, Lixil owns Permasteelisa Group, a high-end curtain wall contractor, which generates revenues of about JPY 30 billion. 

Lixil’s acquisition of American Standard will provide the business with greater scale and more opportunities in North America, and will continue the growth of the international business towards its mid-term goals, according to the firm. American Standard will remain headquartered in the US. 

Japanese corporate Lixil chooses American
Standard as US partner

“The market leadership that American Standard enjoys today has been fueled by considerable operational improvements, an expanded product platform achieved through four strategic acquisitions, and a commitment to innovation,” said Marc Leder, co-chief executive at Sun Capital. 

“I expect LIXIL will continue to invest in these strategies, and that the combined technology and product development capabilities of American Standard and LIXIL will ensure significant progress in the years ahead.”

Japanese corporates continue to acquire overseas assets globally to expand their businesses and can be some of the strongest competitors or most attractive buyers for private equity firms, industry sources say. 

For example, in May, TPG Capital and its Indonesian partner Northstar Pacific Partners sold 24.26 percent of Indonesian commercial bank Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional (BTPN) to Japanese Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Private Equity International reported earlier. The parties also have an acquisition pending approval from Indonesian regulatory authorities for another 15.74 percent of BTPN to make a total stake of 40 percent, with the combined deals worth $1.52 billion.