Masco buys Hansgrohe

Special to CONTRACTOR SCHILTACH, GERMANY Diversified bath-and-kitchen conglomerate Masco Corp., based in Taylor, Mich., has acquired a majority of the shares of Hansgrohe AG. After the European Union Commission on Competition in Brussels, Belgium, approved the application from Masco to increase its share in Hansgrohe shortly before Christmas, Hansgrohe shareholders decided at their general meeting

Special to CONTRACTOR

SCHILTACH, GERMANY — Diversified bath-and-kitchen conglomerate Masco Corp., based in Taylor, Mich., has acquired a majority of the shares of Hansgrohe AG.

After the European Union Commission on Competition in Brussels, Belgium, approved the application from Masco to increase its share in Hansgrohe shortly before Christmas, Hansgrohe shareholders decided at their general meeting here on Dec. 27, 2002, to reorganize the shareholder structure. The reorganization has been put into effect.

The EU Commission on Competition ruled that the acquisition would not be anti-competitive because the firms held a market share of less than 15% in most European countries.

With the move, Masco raised its previous 27% stake — which it has had since 1984 — to 64.35%, by acquiring interests from various branches of the Grohe family. The parties have agreed not to provide information about the purchase price.

Masco owns numerous plumbing brands, including Delta Faucet, Peerless and Brass Craft, as well as kitchen cabinet manufacturers. In some cases, Hansgrohe has shared technology with Masco units such as Delta in products like showerheads.

Delta President John C. Wills told CONTRACTOR that he expects those joint efforts not only to continue but also likely to increase.

The Klaus Grohe family retains its equity share of the initial capital of 61.14 million euros. The existing management board also retains leadership of the Hansgrohe Group, with Klaus Grohe, son of Hans Grohe who founded the company in 1901, acting as chairman.

The Hansgrohe board actively participated in the reorganization of the shareholder structure because, based on its positive experience with the now almost 20-year relationship with Masco, it said that it sees great opportunities for further business expansion.

In this same context, Chairman Klaus Grohe emphasized the necessity to ensure the future of the company in the face of growing competition through consistent internationalization.

“Masco values Hansgrohe’s innovative qualities, and knows about the important role of the company in the development of contemporary bathroom designs, and is especially taken with the unique company culture,” Grohe said. “Among the global network of Masco companies, Hansgrohe is surely a pearl from the Black Forest, with high potential, an attractive product portfolio and rewarding profitability. Furthermore, Masco places an especially large value on the qualifications and creativity of Hansgrohe’s employees. And looking at it from the other side, Masco offers us new access to products, technologies and markets.”

In 2002, the Hansgrohe Group, with 2,400 employees, achieved net revenues of 362 million euros.

Masco is a publicly traded company that holds a leading role worldwide in home automation, bathroom decor and kitchen furnishings. Its 55,000 employees generated revenues of nearly $8 billion, with more than $1.5 billion of that coming from European businesses. Aside from Hansgrohe and its Axor and Pharo brand names, Masco also owns Hüppe shower partitions and Jung pumps in Germany, as well as plumbing product companies in the United Kingdom, Italy and Denmark.