Kitchen products manufacturer The Franke Group has sold its Franke Water Systems division – which includes the KWC Group and its Water Systems (WS) Commercial Group – to equity investor Equistone Partners Europe.
WS Commercial Group focuses on equipment for washrooms for public and commercial facilities, while the KWC Group is a Swiss manufacturer of luxury taps for private bathrooms and kitchens.
The business to be divested achieved annual worldwide sales of approximately 192million Swiss Francs in 2020.
Franke Water Systems workforce of around 900 employees will move to the new owner and the transaction includes production and sales facilities in Switzerland the European Union, the UK, the United Arab Emirates and China.
Equistone is a European equity investor focused on providing financial, operational and strategic support to established middle market companies.
CEO of the Franke Group Patrik Wohlhauser said: “Franke Water Systems has a solid foundation and is well-positioned as a specialist and innovative quality leader for sanitary systems and taps in Europe as well as for bathroom and kitchen taps with the KWC brand, especially in its home market of Switzerland.
“However, Franke’s ambition is to be among the top three players worldwide in every industry in which it competes.
“Developing Franke Water Systems further or expanding it internationally would require considerable resources and time.
“Hence, it makes strategically more sense to concentrate existing resources and competencies on the Franke Home Solutions, Franke FoodService Systems and Franke Coffee Systems divisions, which are already global leaders.”
He added: “We are pleased to have found a strong new owner for the Water Systems business in Equistone.”
Franke UK acquired distributor Sinks & Things, in 2020, to strengthen its presence in London and the South East.