[NEW YORK] 3M Co said on Tuesday that it would buy protection equipment company Capital Safety from private equity firm KKR & Co for US$1.8 billion, the largest acquisition in the US diversified manufacturer's history.
The acquisition of Capital Safety, which sells harnesses, lanyards and other fall protection equipment for workers, will expand 3M's personal safety business, which also includes respiratory and hearing protective gear.
St Paul, Minnesota-based 3M put the deal's value at US$2.5 billion, including about US$700 million in net debt. Headquartered in nearby Bloomington, Capital Safety recorded about US$430 million in sales in its latest fiscal year.
3M expects the deal to close in the third quarter. It is estimated to hurt earnings per share by 4 cents in the first 12 months after closing, but add 12 cents when excluding purchase accounting adjustments and one-time costs.
Analysts on average expect 3M to post earnings of US$7.93 per share this year on US$31.1 billion in sales, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Until now, 3M's biggest deal was its roughly US$1.35 billion purchase of filtration company Cuno 10 years ago.
Morgan Stanley advised 3M, while Goldman Sachs advised KKR.
3M shares were up 0.4 per cent at US$160.34 in morning New York Stock Exchange trading.