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Lixil Considers M&A to Alliances to Reach $10 Billion in Sales

Lixil Corp., Global Company president Toshimasa Iue
Toshimasa Iue, president of Lixil Corp, Global Company. Photographer: Akio Kon/ Bloomberg

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Lixil Corp., the Japanese company that bought bathroom-fixture maker American Standard Brands last month, is considering overseas alliances and acquisitions to more than double sales to 1 trillion yen ($10 billion).

“We’re interested in companies that are very strong locally,” said Toshimasa Iue, president of the Tokyo-based construction materials and toilet maker. “Our priority is on sanitary ware, but we’ll need more than that. We’re looking at within the next three years” for new deals.

Lixil, whose subsidiary built the glass walls of The Shard skyscraper in London, is targeting door and window makers and kitchenware manufacturers to offer more products for use in residential and commercial buildings, Iue said. Lixil Group Corp., Lixil Corp.’s owner, paid $542 million for American Standard and bought Permasteelisa SpA, which made walls for the Guggenheim Museum and the Sydney Opera House.

“We’re the last of Japan’s industries that has great technology that hasn’t expanded overseas,” Iue said yesterday in an interview. “We want to provide lifestyle solutions on a global scale. By buying American Standards Brands, we also buy a U.S. sales route for our other products.”

Lixil Group predicts net income will surge 83 percent to 39 billion yen in the year ending March 31 as sales increase 9.3 percent to 1.57 trillion yen.

The company rose 1.4 percent to 2,175 yen as of the close of trade in Tokyo yesterday. It has gained 13 percent this year, compared with a 39 percent jump in the Nikkei 225 Stock Average.

Iue declined to comment on whether the company was considering buying Germany’s Grohe Holding GmbH, a holding company for makers of faucets.

The Financial Times reported earlier this year that Lixil was among companies that submitted takeover bids.

To contact the reporters on this story: Chris Cooper in Tokyo at ccooper1@bloomberg.net; Kiyotaka Matsuda in Tokyo at kmatsuda@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anand Krishnamoorthy at anandk@bloomberg.net

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