The logo of Lixil Group Corp. is displayed at the entrance of the company showroom in Tokyo. Image: Reuters

Japanese luxury toilet maker Lixil Group Corp said it is selling its stake in household goods retailer Lixil Viva as it continues to streamline its operations following a high-profile boardroom drama last year.

Lixil Group said on Tuesday that it had agreed to offload its entire 53% interest in Lixil Viva to Arcland Sakamoto for 56.6 billion yen ($524 million), or 2,423 yen a share. Lixil Viva shares closed at 2,587 yen on Tuesday.

Lixil Group is streamlining its operations to focus on manufacturing luxury toilets, kitchen units and other household furniture under Chief Executive Kinya Seto, who was reinstated a year ago following a shareholder revolt that was seen as a victory for corporate governance in Japan.

Minority shareholders backed Seto after he abruptly resigned in October 2018 and was replaced by a member of one of the company’s founding families in what they said was a lack of governance.

Last month, Lixil Group sold Italian company Permasteelisa, which makes curtain walls for buildings, to U.S. construction group Atlas Holdings for an undisclosed amount, after buying it in 2011 for about 60 billion yen.

Lixil Group, which was created in 2011 through a merger of five building materials and housing companies, said it expects to book around a 20 billion yen profit from the sale of Lixil Viva, which it expects to be completed in November.

Arcland Sakamoto said in a separate statement that it planned to buy the rest of the shares in Lixil Viva from other shareholders, for 2,600 yen a share in a public tender. Lixil Viva was worth 116 billion yen based on Tuesday’s closing share price.

Reuters | TOKYO


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