Exclusive: Siam Cement, Geberit among bidders for Grohe - sources

Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:59am EDT
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FRANKFURT/HONG KONG (Reuters)- German bathroom fixtures maker Grohe has attracted takeover interest from at least two suitors, people familiar with the process said, in what could be Europe's largest private equity deal of the year.

Thailand's Siam Cement and Switzerland's Geberit have expressed interest in buying Grohe, according to the people familiar, with the value of the private company said to be worth around 4 billion euros ($5 billion).

Tentative offers are due by the end of next week, the people familiar with the matter added.

Grohe'sGROH.UL owners, TPG Capital TPG.UL and the private equity arm of Credit Suisse CSGN.VX, are running a so-called dual track process, where one track is to pursue an IPO of Europe's biggest bathroom equipment maker and the other is to sell to a buyer.

Grohe's sale to the private equity firms was what prompted the now famous quote from a German politician who called the industry "locusts" for the way they buy and sell companies.

U.S.-based Fortune Brands (FBHS.N: Quote) has also expressed interest in Grohe in the past, but has not been in active pursuit lately, another person said.

Geberit and Siam Cement were not immediately available for comment, while Fortune also declined to comment.

Siam Cement CEO Kan Trakulhoon said in an interview with Reuters earlier in the week: "M&A is our priority, and we are in talks on several potential deals." He did not specify further.

The conglomerate has business interests in paper, chemicals and building materials, in addition to cement.   Continued...