Jacuzzi Brands said a definitive merger agreement has been signed under which affiliates of private equity firm Apollo Management L.P. will purchase Jacuzzi Brands in a transaction with a total value of $1.25 billion, which includes the assumption of outstanding debt of about $260 million, net of cash. The board of Jacuzzi Brands has approved the merger agreement and recommended its shareholders vote in favor of the transaction.

Apollo is partnering with George M. Sherman, non-executive chairman of Rexnord Corp. and former president and CEO of Danaher Corp., in the acquisition. Upon completion of the merger, Sherman will become non-executive chairman of Jacuzzi Brands and be a co-investor with Apollo in the transaction.

Sherman noted that Jacuzzi Brands brings two attractive operating segments to Apollo's portfolio: Zurn for the domestic commercial water management industry and Jacuzzi for branded bath, spa and shower products. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2007. The Zurn business may be transferred to Rexnord Corp., an Apollo portfolio company, following the close of the transaction.

Certain members of Jacuzzi Brands' management, including President and CEO Alex Marini, are expected to remain with the businesses after the closing.