Cooper and Danaher Will Merge Tools Businesses

March 30, 2010
Scaling potential to global market, diversifying product offerings, cutting costs

Cooper Industries plc and Danaher Corp. are forming a joint venture that will combine their respective tools businesses into a global portfolio of well-known brands. Each partner will own a 50% of the new company, which has not been named.

Expected to be completed this year, the merger has a similar logic to that offered by Stanley Works in its acquisition of Black & Decker, now known as Stanley Black & Decker Inc.

"Size and scale are important in this industry and this combination will create a focused, global tools business with revenues in excess of $1.2 billion and significant sales in North America, South America, Europe, China, and Australia, a global manufacturing footprint, a more comprehensive product offering and a significantly improved cost position, all of which will enhance its global competitive position and ability to grow," stated Cooper chairman and CEO Kirk S. Hachigian.

Cooper Industries supplies various products for building and construction, including Bussmann electrical and electronic fuses; Crouse-Hinds and CEAG explosion-proof electrical equipment; Halo and Metalux lighting fixtures; and Kyle and McGraw-Edison power systems products.

Danaher designs, manufactures, and markets products and services to professional, medical, industrial, and commercial customers, including the Craftsman tools brand sold through Sears stores.

Cooper's Tools business includes power tools products, wireless technologies and hand tools. Danaher's mechanic's hand tools business covers many product categories, but between the two halves the new business will have “very little product line overlap,” according to a statement.

Danaher and Cooper will have equal representation on the venture's board, and Danaher Tool Group president Steve Breitzka will be its CEO.

Hachigian said Cooper expects the new venture "to deliver long-term value creation to our shareholders, customers and employees as we are confident that its management team will successfully capitalize on the synergies that are inherent in combining these two businesses, creating significant opportunities for future growth and expansion going forward."

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