Villeroy & Boch AG has signed binding agreements to acquire operating companies in the Ideal Standard Group which will, after completion of the transaction, mean that “the integrated company will join the ranks of Europe’s biggest manufacturers of bathroom products.”
The merger of the two companies is described as “a strong strategic fit given their regional presence, sales strategies and product and brand portfolios, laying the foundations for a stronger market position and additional growth.” The Ideal Standard shares are being sold by corporations under the management of Anchorage Capital Group and CVC Credit whilst the acquisition price is based on a company valuation of approximately €600 million.
The revenue of the Villeroy & Boch Bathroom & Wellness Division will double to €1.4 billion as a result of the merger. Including the Dining & Lifestyle business, this represents an increase to over 1.7 billion euros (around €995 million in the 2022 financial year) for the Group as a whole.
Frank Göring, CEO of Villeroy & Boch, said: “This merger means that we will now catch up with the largest players on the European market in the bathroom sector in terms of turnover. Our complementary strengths also make us more competitive and significantly improve our starting position for achieving additional growth.”
Villeroy & Boch has a strong geographical basis in Central and Northern Europe as well as Asia, while Ideal Standard enjoys an excellent reputation with its brand portfolio in the UK, Italy and the Middle East / North Africa region in particular. Accordingly, the merger will “create a powerful combination of complementary established brand and sales strategies.”
While Villeroy & Boch’s sales strategy focuses primarily on a high-end private customer base, Ideal Standard is described as possessesing “particular expertise in the project business, including for the public sector, the healthcare sector and for developers of large residential, hotel and commercial properties.”
In addition, alongside a broad range of ceramic bathroom ware and other products, Ideal Standard comes with an established fittings business, which generated more than a third of its revenue last financial year.
Jan Peter Tewes, Ideal Standard CEO, said: “Villeroy & Boch and Ideal Standard complement each other, in terms of products but also in terms of brands, and will gain mutual benefit from their different sales channels. Both companies will play a key role in charting the future course of the industry. We look forward to this development!”
In addition to the strategic fit, Frank Göring points to the cultural similarities between Villeroy & Boch and Ideal Standard: “We are characterised by strong brands steeped in tradition and share similar values. These include a pronounced service orientation, a flair for good design and a constant striving for innovation.
“We are delighted that the employees of Ideal Standard will become part of our global organisation after the closing of the transaction. Our clients will benefit from this combined expertise and an expanded offering.”
Andreas Schmid, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Villeroy & Boch, added: “The bathrooms sector remains a fast-moving global growth market, but it is a market in which scale effects will be increasingly important to remaining competitive and attracting future investment. For this reason alone, the acquisition represents the right strategic step for Villeroy & Boch.
“In addition, Ideal Standard is an excellent extension to our own business model. This heralds a new era for the Bathroom & Wellness Division and for Villeroy & Boch as a whole.”
Villeroy & Boch will finance the transaction from existing cash and cash equivalents as well as with debt in the amount of approximately EUR 250 million. The transaction is subject to the usual regulatory reviews and approvals as well as the successful redemption of the EUR 325 million bond issued by Ideal Standard International S.A. The transaction is expected to be completed in early 2024.