Bathroom fittings company Grohe in Japanese buy-out

Germany’s biggest bathroom fittings company, Grohe, has been bought up by Japanese building products group Lixil in a $4bn deal – the largest ever investment by a Japanese company in Europe’s biggest economy.

Lixil Group formed an equal investment joint venture with the state-backed Development Bank of Japan to buy 87.5% of Grohe

Grohe will give Lixil the outlet in Europe it was seeking and help it expand in China through Joyou a Grohe bathroom fittings unit that sells through 4,000 distributors.

Lixil CEO Yoshiaki Fujimori said the acquisition is the latest stage of a global network built on its $785m deal for Italian curtain walling maker Permasteelisa in 2011 and its $542m purchase of U.S. toilet and fixtures maker American Standard last year.

“With this deal we have secured a global platform,” said Fujimori.

Lixil was formed by mergers of several Japanese building product makers with a product line-up ranging from high-tech toilets to window frames.

The company says it will particularly focus on expanding its share of the faucet market as it attempts to strengthen its product range of bathroom fittings.