Lixil to buy toilet maker American Standard for $542 million

TOKYO/NEW YORK Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:45pm EDT

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TOKYO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Japan's biggest building products maker Lixil Group Corp (5938.T) said on Friday it would buy toilet and plumbing facilities maker ASD Americas Holding Corp (American Standard) for $542 million from buyout firm Sun Capital Partners Inc.

Lixil, a Tokyo-based housing facilities manufacturer which was looking to enter the North American market, said it would keep American Standard headquartered in the United States and continue operating all of its existing facilities.

Sun Capital acquired American Standard in 2007 from private equity peer Bain Capital LLC for $130 million. Bain had just agreed to purchase bathroom fixture maker Ideal Standard with a $1.76 billion bid, prevailing over a competing bid from the private equity arm of Steve Cohen's SAC Capital.

"In terms of the money invested just in American Standard, based on the great job its CEO Jay Gould and hid team did, we are going to make about three times our money on one of our biggest investments ever," said Sun Capital co-chief executive Marc Leder.

"Most of our equity investments are below $100 million, we have only made around a dozen investments in our history of more than $100 million and this is one of them."

Sun Capital helped American Standard return to profitability after its takeover, subsequently merging it with three of its companies -- Crane Plumbing, Eljer and Decorative Panels International -- and acquiring another company as well, Safety Tubs LLC, as a bolt-on.

(Reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro in Tokyo and Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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