Bath and kitchen product manufacturer AS America Inc. (American Standard America) plans to merge with Crane Plumbing LLC and Eljer Inc. in the second quarter of 2008.

AS America Inc. (American Standard America), Crane Plumbing LLC and Eljer Inc. announced their intent to merge. The merger closing is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2008, and integration of the companies' operations is expected to occur within a 12- to 24-month period.

Once the merger is complete, Donald C. Devine, president and CEO of American Standard America, will lead the new company and Kevin Oak, CEO of Crane Plumbing, will become COO. Jim Harris, CEO of Eljer, will be part of the integration steering committee. The new organization will have operations in the United States, Mexico and Canada, and its headquarters will be in Piscataway, NJ.

While the leaders of all three companies have formed integration teams and are making plans for the merger, the three companies will continue to conduct business as usual and operate as independent companies until the closing.

American Standard America, Crane Plumbing and Eljer are affiliated portfolio companies of Sun Capital Partners Inc., a private investment firm specializing in leveraged buyouts and investments in market-leading companies. Bain Capital Partners Inc. is a minority partner in American Standard America and will remain a minority partner in the new consolidated entity.

With an operating history of more than 130 years, American Standard America is one of the largest North American manufacturers of bath and kitchen products. The company participates in all key product categories such as bathroom and kitchen faucets, fixtures and furniture and says it has leading positions in toilets and in bathroom fixtures. Its products are marketed under brand names such as American Standard, Porcher and Jado. American Standard serves customers in both residential and commercial markets both for new construction and replacement remodeling. Its customer network consists of wholesalers (including showrooms), retailers (including do-it-yourself centers) and specialty merchants. For more information, please visit

Crane Plumbing LLC says it is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of plumbing fixtures and specialty plumbing products in the United States and Canada. Crane's products are marketed under the Crane Plumbing, Fiat, Showerite, Universal-Rundle and Sanymetal brand names. Crane's products are manufactured at 20 locations in the U.S. and Canada and are sold to more than 3,000 plumbing wholesale outlets and 4,000 retail stores including Lowe's, Home Depot and Menard's. For more information, please visit

Eljer Inc., a branded plumbing fixture company, serves the residential, commercial construction, remodeling and repair markets in both the U.S. and Canada. Eljer manufactures and markets vitreous china fixtures, cast iron sinks, whirlpool tubs and other related plumbing products for the kitchen and bathroom markets, and distributes its products through a network of wholesale distributors, hardware stores and do-it-yourself home centers. For more information, please visit

Sun Capital Partners Inc. is a private investment firm focused on leveraged buyouts, equity, debt and other investments in market-leading companies. Sun Capital affiliates have invested in and managed more than 180 companies worldwide with combined sales in excess of $35 billion since Sun Capital's inception in 1995. Sun Capital has offices in Boca Raton, Los Angeles, and New York, as well as affiliates with offices in London, Tokyo, and Shenzhen. For more information, please visit

Bain Capital Partners Inc. is a global private investment firm that manages several pools of capital including private equity, high-yield assets, mezzanine capital and public equity with approximately $65 billion (U.S.) in assets under management. Since its inception in 1984, Bain Capital has made private equity investments and add-on acquisitions in more than 250 companies around the world. Headquartered in Boston, Bain Capital has offices in New York, London, Munich, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo. For more information, please visit