An icon of the American kitchen and bathroom is exiting that business to focus solely on air conditioning. American Standard Companies Inc.today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to sell the company's worldwide Bath and Kitchen products business to funds advised by Bain Capital Partners, LLC for $1.755 billion in cash.
Upon completion of the sale, Bain will acquire all of American Standard's Bath and Kitchen business, with 2006 annual sales of $2.4 billion, 26,000 employees and 54 production facilities in 23 countries worldwide. The business manufactures and markets products under brand names such as American Standard, Ideal Standard, Armitage Shanks, Porcher, Jado, Ceramica Dolomite and Vidima.
The sale closing is expected to occur early in the fourth quarter. The company intends to use proceeds of the sale primarily to repurchase common stock and reduce debt to keep the company at investment-grade standards. The sale is subject to normal regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. Shareholder approval is not required. The buyer has secured firm financing commitments.
On Feb. 1, 2007, American Standard announced plans to separate its three businesses by selling Bath and Kitchen, spinning off Vehicle Control Systems and retaining its largest business, Air Conditioning Systems and Services. Today's announcement is the final step needed for completion of those plans following the spinoff of Vehicle Control Systems as an independent publicly traded company to be known as WABCO, which is scheduled for July 31 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. In March, the company sold Venesta Washroom Systems, which was part of Bath and Kitchen. Combined with Venesta, proceeds for the sale of Bath and Kitchen total $1.92 billion.
Following the spinoff and the sale, American Standard Companies will change its name to Trane. Trane is the flagship brand of its global Air Conditioning Systems and Services business, which last year generated sales of $6.8 billion.