Gerber Plumbing Fixtures Corp. Announces Sale
Chicago, Illinois - Gerber Plumbing Fixtures Corp., a leading manufacturer of faucets and vitreous china plumbing products, announced today that it has completed a transaction in which most of the assets of Gerber have been sold to a new entity, Gerber Plumbing Fixtures LLC. Chicago headquartered Globe Union Group, Inc. ("Globe Union") is the majority owner of Gerber Plumbing Fixtures LLC. Financial terms of the transaction were not announced. Gerber's 2002 revenues exceeded $100 million.
Gerber will operate as a stand-alone subsidiary of Globe Union. Ila Lewis, current Gerber Chairman and granddaughter of founder Max Gerber, has been named Chairman of the new company. She and certain other members of the Gerber family also hold a significant ownership stake in the new company.
"This transaction will build upon our 70-year family heritage and enable Gerber to pursue exciting new opportunities. It's a win-win move for our customers and the industry. Globe Union is the ideal partner, with substantial technical, financial, marketing and manufacturing resources that will help us grow the business," Ms. Lewis said.
"From our customers' perspective, this transaction means they will continue to enjoy superior Gerber service; they will continue to have access to quality products; and in addition, they will benefit from the investments Globe Union plans to make in the business, including many exciting new products," Lewis continued.
"As always, our principal goal will be to delight our customers with new product and service offerings," concluded Lewis.
"Gerber is a highly regarded family business with a great brand, wonderful heritage and excellent position in the plumbing wholesale channel of distribution," said Michael E. Werner, Globe Union President and CEO. "We will work in partnership with management and provide additional resources to enable Gerber to achieve its potential."
Werner was previously president of family-owned Werner Ladder Co. Gerber Plumbing Fixtures LLC also announced that Frank J. Feraco has been named President and Chief Operating Officer.
"Frank is a consummate professional, with extensive experience in both industrial and home improvement companies and an intimate knowledge of the plumbing products industry," Werner said.
Feraco has held a variety of positions with Fortune 200 companies. He was most recently President and COO of Pentair Tools Group, where he led a major restructuring of this $1.3 billion division of Pentair (NYSE: PNR). He served in several capacities with Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR) during his 17 years there, including Senior VP Sales & Marketing and Operations at Skil Tools.
In 1991, he was recruited by the plumbing giant Kohler Co. to become CEO of its Sterling Group subsidiary. After a two-year stint at Danaher Corp. (NYSE: DHR), he returned to Kohler to head up Worldwide Plumbing Operations, where he was responsible for spearheading growth into Asia, Australia, Latin America, Europe and Africa.
"I am excited by Gerber's growth potential. Globe Union has the financial and other resources to enable Gerber to expand into new products and markets," Feraco said.
Gerber Plumbing Fixtures Corp. is a leading manufacturer and supplier of residential, commercial and institutional plumbing products with more than 700 employees. The company was established in 1932 by Max Gerber, who immigrated to Chicago from Poland with his family in 1902.
Gerber's corporate headquarters is in the Chicago suburb of Lincolnwood, IL. The Company operates three manufacturing plants and distributes plumbing supplies worldwide, primarily to professional plumbers through plumbing wholesale distributors. As conveyed by its vision statement, "Professionally Made; Professionally Sold; Professionally Installed," Gerber is known throughout the plumbing products industry as a 's products include a full line of vitreous china toilets, lavatories, bidets, and urinals, offered in more than 20 colors and numerous styles. Its Ultra Flush® pressure-assisted toilet was rated Consumer Report's best buy in 1995 and again in 1998. Gerber also offers a broad line of faucets for residential and commercial applications, including ceramic disc as well as traditional compression stem and washerless faucets and valves. Additionally, nearly every professional plumber has installed a Gerber brass tub drain, a product line in which Gerber has more than a 40% market share.
About Globe Union
Globe Union and its affiliates are a vertically integrated global manufacturer and distributor of home improvement products. Globe Union has operations in the US, Canada, Mexico, Italy, Taiwan and China. Principal products include kitchen and bathroom faucets, bathroom accessories, showerheads and related components. Globe Union products are distributed worldwide.
Lincoln Partners initiated this transaction, assisted in the negotiations and acted as financial advisor to Gerber Plumbing Fixtures Corp.