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A Loss of Over RMB 3 Billion! LIXIL Announces Sale of 100% Equity in A Subsidiary

LIXIL Group announced on May 1 that it will sell its 100% equity in its subsidiary Permasteelisa (hereinafter referred to as “Permas”) to Atlas Holdings LLC (hereinafter referred to as “Atlas”). LIXIL Group announced in 2017 that it would sell Permas to the Chinese company Grandland Group, which was later rejected by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

 

Permas lost more than RMB 3 billion in fiscal year 2018

According to the announcement of LIXIL Group, the company intends to sell its 100% equity (25,613,544 shares) of Permas to Atlas, which did not disclose the exact sale price due to strong requests from Atlas. The announcement shows that the premise of this transaction is to comply with the competition laws of Europe, United States, China, Russia and Saudi Arabia, thus no formal date has been set for the equity transaction at this stage.

The LIXIL Group said that Permas is one of the world’s top curtain wall manufacturer and has a certain position in the high-end market in Europe, Asia, North America and other regions. However, Permas has encountered operational and financial problems in recent years, and the company’s business is operationally different from that of LIXIL’s main business. In order to focus on the main business, increase the Group’s investment opportunities in new businesses and other highly profitable businesses, and improve operating efficiency, hence decided to sell Permas.

It is reported that Permas was founded in 1973 and its headquarters is located in the northern Italian city of Treviso. The current CEO was Klaus Lother. In fiscal years 2016, 2017, and 2018 (from April of that year to March of the following year), the company’s sales were EUR 1.286 billion, EUR1.277 billion, and EUR1.117 billion respectively, and net profits were EUR-0.45 billion, EUR-0.29 billion, and EUR-4.12 billion, (approximately RMB 3.180 billion), at deficit Status.

On the other hand, the acquirer, Atlas, which is headquartered in the town of Greenwich, Connecticut, USA, was established in 2002 and is mainly engaged in investment activities in manufacturing, logistics and construction etc. sectors. It is currently not listed.

The impact of the transaction on the group’s financial level has not been included in the revision of the performance forecast issued by LIXIL Group on the same day. LIXIL Group expects to achieve sales of JPY 169.5 billion (approximately RMB 112.103 billion) in fiscal year 2019 (April 2019 to March 2020), a decrease of 8.4% from the previously expected JPY 185 billion, and a net income of JPY 15 billion (approximately RMB 0.992 billion). LIXIL Group had previously announced that it would disclose its fiscal 2019 annual report on May 11, but due to the COVID-19, the report will be postponed until May 29.

Once sold to Grandland Group ended in failure

As previously reported, Permas was led to be acquired by Yoichi Ichiro, former president and CEO of LIXIL Group. In December 2011, LIXIL Group announced that it has acquired all the shares of Permas from Cima Claddings S.A, which was indirectly controlled by a European private joint holding company, at a price of approximately EUR 575 million (approximately RMB 4,438 million), and established the company as a subsidiary.

The LIXIL Group had great confidence in the development of all construction-related businesses including curtain wall, but since then Permas has been losing money for years, and LIXIL Group began to consider selling the company.

In August 2017, LIXIL announced the sale of Permas to a Chinese architecture and construction company Grandland Group for approximately JPY 60 billion (about RMB 3.968 billion). In November of the same year, the current president of LIXIL, Mr. Yoko Ichida, and the CEO, Kinya Seto, visited the Grandland Group. Ichiro has stated that the merger and acquisition of the Permas project is only the beginning of cooperation, and China is the most important market for LIXIL, the two sides have a good synergistic effect, and there will be vast cooperation space in the future.

In November 2018, LIXIL Group announced that it was suspending the sale of Permas to Grandland Group because the case was rejected by the CFIUS. Subsequently, the LIXIL Group expressed its commitment to revitalizing Permas, which had been struggling in the United States. After a year of revitalization activities, it finally chose to sell Permas.

 

A number of sanitary companies are selling equity in their subsidiaries

In the LIXIL Group announcement, the main reason for the sale of Permas was to promote the company to focus on its main business and to improve production and operational efficiency. And the the company merged 100% of its holding company, LIXIL Corporation, effective April 1 for the same consideration. In fact, in the case of sanitary companies selling subsidiaries or divesting their businesses in recent years, the expectation to focus on the main business and simplify management procedures and promoting efficient operations also account for much of the reason.

 

Huida sanitary ware made a profit of RMB 54 million from the sale of DaFeng Coking Company

In December 2019, Huida Sanitary Ware released an announcement regarding the completion of the equity sale of the joint stock company. The agreement stipulates that Huida Sanitary Ware will transfer 40% equity interest in Dafeng Coking to Donghua Steel at a price of RMB 48.143 million. In addition, Donghua Steel Co., Ltd. on behalf of Dafeng Co., Ltd. paid Huida Sanitary Ware Co., Ltd. a dividend of RMB 352 million that still owed by Dafeng Coking to Huida Sanitary Ware. In total, Donghua Steel needs to pay RMB 400 million to Huida Sanitary Ware Co., Ltd. Huida Sanitary ware said that the successful sale of Dafeng Coking shares will help the company focus on the main business of the sanitary ware, improve operational efficiency and reduce management costs. According to Huida Sanitary ware’s 2019 annual report, the sale of shares increased the company’s net profit by $54 million.

 

Masco divested its doors, windows and cabinets business.

In the past six months, Masco Group has been divesting its window, door and cabinet businesses. Following the sale of the door and window brand Milgard for US$750 million (approximately RMB 5295 million) in the second half of 2019, the cabinet business was sold to ACProducts, one of the largest cabinet companies in the United States in February 2020, with a turnover of USD850 million (about RMB 6,001 million). The Masco Group, which owns brands such as Hansgrohe, Delta, Kichler, HotSpring and other brands, 2019 sales of USD6.7 billion (approximately RMB47.303 billion), a year-on-year increase of 1%, and operating profit decreased by 1% to USD1.11 billion (approximately RMB 7.837 billion); the first quarter of 2020 achieved sales of USD 1.6 billion (approximately RMB 11.296 billion), a year-on-year increase of 4%, and operating profit increased by 11% to USD 228 million (approximately RMB 1,610 million).

 

GOBO sold Home Boutique for $95 million

In August 2019, GOBO announced that it would sell its equity in Home Boutique to Qidian Yijia company, with a total transaction value of approximately NT$430 million (approximately RMB 95 million) and a total transaction equity of more than 35.16 million shares. GOBO announced the acquisition of Home Boutique in 2006, but Home Boutique have begun to show signs of decline in recent years, with revenue of only NT$702 million (approximately RMB157 million) in 2018. After evaluation, GOBO decided to sell all of its equity in Home Boutique to focus on core business.

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