Japanese firm Lixil to buy American Standard

June 29, 2013 at 1:50 PM

PISCATAWAY, N.J., June 29 (UPI) -- Lixil Corp. of Japan said it agreed to buy American Standard Brands, the U.S. bathroom fixtures company, for $342 billion.

The 138-year-old toilet maker is currently owned by Sun Capital Partners Inc., a Florida investment firm. With the purchase, Lixil assumes $200 million of American Standard debt, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

Lixil is trying to jump into the fixtures business as the U.S. housing market heats up, the Journal said.

The purchase thrusts Lixil into the $8.5 billion per year toilet industry, putting it on the level with another U.S. brand, Kohler Co., as well as Japanese firm Toto Ltd., and Roca Sanitario SA of Spain.

American Standard can trace its start to 1872, when John Pierce opened a company that made enamel-coated iron products, the Journal said.

The company makes toilets, bathtubs, sinks and faucets and employs about 5,000 workers, the Journal said.

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