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Japan's Lixil to Buy American Standard Toilet Maker

Lixil's acquisition is part of a strategy to look abroad for markets at a time Japan's own market is graying and shrinking.

TOKYO - Japan's Lixil Group has agreed to buy the U.S. maker of the "American Standard" brand toilet for more than half a billion dollars, the company said Friday.

Lixil, a firm that groups several makers of toilets, kitchen furniture, windows and other household brands, said it will acquire all of ASD Americas Holdings for $542 million (53.1 billion yen).

ASD Americas Holdings makes and markets sanitary ware and plumbing products, including bathtubs under the "American Standard" brand.

The company's shares are currently 65.6% held by Sun Plumbing V Finance LLC, which is indirectly controlled by U.S. private equity firm Sun Capital Partners Inc.

Lixil has already reached an accord on the share transaction with Sun Plumbing and others that hold the remainder of ASD Americas Holdings, it said.

Lixil's acquisition is part of a strategy to look abroad for markets at a time Japan's own market is graying and shrinking.

The company says the buyout should boost the total value of its overseas sales to 300 billion yen, or over 20% of its total, up from 14% in 2012.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013

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