Gerber Plumbing Fixtures Corp. announced 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, owned primarily by Globe Union Group, Inc.

Gerber Plumbing Fixtures Corp., a leading manufacturer of faucets and vitreous china plumbing products, announced 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 standalone 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," 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.

"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 was most recently president and COO of Pentair Tools Group and served in several capacities with Emerson Electric during his 17 years there, including senior vp sales & marketing and operations at Skil Tools. In 1991, he was recruited by 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.

Gerber Plumbing Fixtures Corp. is a leading manufacturer and supplier of residential, commercial and institutional plumbing products with more than 700 employees. Gerber's products include vitreous china toilets, lavatories, bidets, and urinals. The company also offers a broad line of faucets for residential and commercial applications, including ceramic disc and traditional compression stem and washerless faucets and valves, and brass tub drains.

Globe Union and its affiliates are a vertically integrated global manufacturer and distributor of home improvement products. Globe Union has operations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Italy, Taiwan and China. Principal products include kitchen and bathroom faucets, bathroom accessories, showerheads and related components.