Gerber Plumbing Fixtures Corp., a manufacturer of faucets and vitreous china plumbing products, 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. 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. 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., 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.