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Villeroy & Boch Wants To Acquire Belgian Sanitary Ware Manufacturer Ideal Standard International Group

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TAOWEI.com  According to German media reports on March 18, Villeroy & Boch is still in talks to acquire Belgium’s Ideal Standard International, the parent company of Bulgarian sanitaryware maker Ideal Standart-Vidima. A spokesman for Villeroy & Boch was quoted by German news agency DPA as saying, “We are still in talks with Ideal Standard International Group.”

In response to media speculation, Villeroy & Boch had made an interim announcement on Jan. 23 that it was currently considering an acquisition of Ideal Standard International Group. However, the evaluation is still at an early stage and the company’s corporate body has not yet made any binding decision on whether to proceed with the acquisition. As a result, Villeroy & Boch may also terminate the project or proceed with the acquisition for any other reason.

Frank Goering, CEO of Villeroy & Boch, said in February that the group would make a decision on the acquisition before the shareholders’ meeting in March. On March 17, local time in Germany, Villeroy & Boch announced that the annual general meeting scheduled for March 27 will be postponed due to the new coronavirus. Large meetings of more than five people are currently prohibited in Germany until May 20.

Ideal Standard International Group has invested more than 300 million leva (approximately 1.2 billion yuan) in Ideal Standard-Vidima since 1992. in November 2019, Ideal Standard-Vidima upgraded its largest European faucet plant in Sevlivio, northern Bulgaria. As part of a three-year plan to invest more than 32 million euros (about 250 million yuan), the plant was modernized, including the automation of production processes. This improvement has increased the plant’s production capacity to over 6.5 million faucets per year, employing over 3,000 people in total. (Related link: Belgian sanitaryware maker Ideal Standard invests $250 million in faucet plant)

Preliminary figures for fiscal 2019 show that Villeroy & Boch’s sales fell to €833 million (about RMB 6.3 billion) from €853 million (about RMB 6.5 billion) in 2018. In contrast, Ideal Standard International Group, which now employs 9,500 people, reported a 20 percent increase in revenue to €730 million (about Rmb5.6 billion) in 2019. If the two companies successfully merge, it would double Villeroy & Boch’s revenue to more than €1.5 billion (about RMB 11.4 billion).

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