Plumbers, Boilers, Central Heating

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Ideal Standard Now Private

Ideal Standard International has announced a management buy-out, making it a privately owned company. The change is along with a recent change by American Standard Companies of the sale of its bath and kitchen products business lines for $1,745m. The buyer was a fund advised by Bain Capital.

Many UK plumbers and heating engineers use Ideal Standard’s products in domestic installations of bathroom suites and bathroom fittings and the new owners intend to improve the performance of the company. The new owners are looking to leverage the strong brand awareness and the good links to the plumbing sector in general and local plumbers in particular to further build upon the success so far.

The company holds many brands that are household names and are very popular with UK plumbers such as Armitage Shanks, Ideal Standard, American Standard and Jado.

Among these brands, Armitage Shanks is a popular brand with plumbers that specialise in Bathroom suites, bathroom fittings (taps, mixers, tubs) and dates back to 1850 when the first sanitary ware was manufactured in Armitage, Staffordshire. In 1969 Armitage merged with Shanks Holdings Limited, a competing "sanitary engineering company" established at Barrhead near Glasgow, Scotland in 1878, producing the brand name Armitage Shanks.

The recent sale was of the management buy out type (MBO), leveraged using external funds by Bain Capital. The decision to on the management buy out was based on the management’s confidence in the market, the employees and the management team at all levels.

Most plumbers we asked had no knowledge of the sale of the company and were more concerned with the quality and availability of the products in the plumbing merchants, rather than the financial changes within the company.

This page has been written with contributions from heating engineers from Northamptonshire and plumbing and heating engineers from Balham. Several of the company's plumbers from Hertfordshire have worked on similar issues as well as some of our qualified plumbers from Golders Green and our Croydon experienced plumbers.