Danaher Corporation and Cooper Industries have an agreement in place to sell their joint venture Apex Tool Group to the private-investment group Bain Capital for approximately $1.6 billion. The sale remains subject to post-closing adjustments, but the parties indicated they expect to close it in the first half of 2013.
The sale bears similarities to another deal announced recently: Stanley Black & Decker has an agreement to sell its Hardware & Home Improvement Group to Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. for $1.4 billion, in cash.
HHI produces residential locksets, residential builder’s hardware and plumbing fixtures marketed under the Kwikset, Weiser, Baldwin, Stanley, National and Pfister brands, among others.
Both sales suggest willingness by the conglomerates to accumulate cash and concentrate on their core businesses, rather than navigate consumer markets.
Apex Tool manufactures hand tools, power tools, and tool storage systems for the do-it-yourself market, for manufacturing and assembly, and for automotive, aerospace, construction, and electronics segments. The company may be known best for manufacturing the Craftsman Tools series sold through Sears retail outlets. It also owns the Lufkin, Crescent, and Belzer tool brands.
Apex is a company that Danaher and Cooper formed in 2010 by merging their individual hardware making assets. Cooper Industries supplies 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.
Danaher and Cooper each hold 50% of Apex Tool. Danaher stated it expects the sale to generate after-tax net proceeds of approximately $650 million.