American Standard sells bath and kitchen business

American Standard has found a buyer for its bath and kitchen business: Bain Capital Parnters, who has agreed to buy the group for $1.755 billion.

Bain Capital Partners is a global private investment firm -- most recently, Bain Capital was one of four private investment firms to purchase Home Depot’s HD Supply unit.

Upon completion of the sale, Bain Capital will acquire all of American Standard's bath and kitchen business, which had 2006 sales of $2.4 billion. The business manufactures and markets products under brand names including American Standard, Ideal Standard, Armitage Shanks, Porcher and Jado.

The sale closing is expected to occur early in the fourth quarter. American Standard said it will use proceeds of the sale primarily to repurchase common stock and reduce debt.

Earlier this year, American Standard announced its plans to separate its three business by selling bath and kitchen, spinning off its vehicle control systems business and retaining its largest business, in air conditioning systems and services. Following the spinoff and the sale, American Standard Cos. will change its name to Trane.

“This is a major milestone in our plan to separate American Standard into three focused, better understood companies,” said Fred Poses, American Standard chairman and CEO. “We believe that Bain Capital's all-cash offer provides excellent value for our shareowners.”

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