September 25, 2013 / 11:29 PM / in 7 years

Japan's Lixil agrees to buy Grohe for about $4 billion: Nikkei

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese bathroom equipment maker Lixil Group Corp (5938.T) has reached an agreement with the private equity owners of Grohe GROH.UL to buy the European company for about 400 billion yen ($4.05 billion), the Nikkei newspaper reported.

Lixil will announce the deal to buy Grohe from TPG Capital TPG.UL and the private equity arm of Credit Suisse CSGN.VX on Thursday, the newspaper said.

Grohe’s owners had also been considering the option of exiting their investment by listing the company on the stock exchange but had decided by Wednesday to sell to Lixil, the Nikkei said.

Lixil could not be reached for comment. Lixil issued a statement in response to media reports earlier this week about talks to buy Grohe saying that it had not ruled out any acquisitions but that nothing had been decided.

Lixil has lined up more than 200 billion yen in loans from Japanese banks for a leveraged buyout of Grohe, the Nikkei said.

The newspaper said Lixil would establish a special-purpose company (SPC) to handle the transaction. Lixil would contribute about 130 billion yen to the SPC and the Development Bank of Japan about 50 billion yen, the newspaper said. ($1 = 98.6900 Japanese yen)

Reporting by Nathan Layne; Editing by Paul Tait

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