A.O. Smith said it plans to submit a tender offer for all outstanding GSW shares in February and, if successful, hopes to conclude the transaction by the end of the first quarter. GSW is comprised of two business segments - water heating and building products. The water heating segment manufactures and markets water heaters sold in the United States and Canada through its American Water Heater Co. and GSW Water Heater subsidiaries. The water heater segment reported sales of about $471 million (U.S.) in 2004.GSW's Building Products business, with 2004 sales of about $35 million (U.S.), manufactures and markets vinyl rain ware systems primarily for North American retail customers.

The company employs more than 1,700 people at its three operating divisions in Canada and the United States.

On Jan. 17, A.O. Smith received approvals from the various jurisdictions in the United States and Canada to pursue the proposed acquisition. The agreement between A. O. Smith and the majority shareholders of GSW equates to a purchase price of about $343.6 million (U.S.) and is conditional upon A. O. Smith successfully completing its remaining due diligence review and negotiating definitive agreements.