Honeywell is Buying Sperian Protection

The company announced today that its $1.4 billion bid has been approved by Sperian's board. This will vault Honeywell into the lead position among PPE manufacturers worldwide.

Honeywell and Sperian Protection announced a bombshell today, saying the Sperian board has approved a $1.4 billion tender offer for Honeywell to buy all of Sperian's shares. The latter is holding its shareholders' meeting today in Paris and had announced Monday that several bids were on the table, but the value of Honeywell's was stunning: 117 euros per share, far above the original 70-euro bid from Menelas France SAS. On Tuesday, Sperian's stock price finished at 88.75 euros per share.

Sperian CEO Brice de La Morandiere was quoted in Honeywell's financial release as saying, "We are very pleased to join together with Honeywell, an outstanding partner we know well and who shares our commitment to customers. Through their talent and dedication, Sperian employees have built a reference leader in the industry. I'm confident that, together with Honeywell, we will provide unmatched protection solutions in the marketplace and thus drive significant growth for our business and our people."

"Sperian is an ideal fit to add to Honeywell's great position in the growing PPE industry," said Roger Fradin, president and CEO of Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions. Sperian will be combined within that unit's Life Safety business. "It has one of the most recognizable brand portfolios in the industry and a top-tier global customer base, and we have a great deal of respect for the Sperian leadership team and business. The company has built an impressive track record of long-term growth while continuing to invest in its future through R&D and global acquisitions. Like Honeywell, Sperian develops differentiated new products that customers demand. Combined with our Norcross acquisition in 2008, we are building a global leader in the fast-growing PPE industry, with worldwide distribution capabilities to deliver the highest-quality products in both developed and emerging regions. This represents a terrific opportunity to once again derive value from our stellar acquisition integration process."

Menelas is owned by Cinven, a buyout company.

Sperian is among the world's biggest PPE manufacturers. It claims to rank first worldwide in eye and face protection, in non-prescription safety eyewear, in post-incident emergency eye care, in laser beam protection, and in personal fall protection. It ranks second among manufacturers of hearing protection products and is a major manufacturer of respiratory protection, protective apparel, and hand and arm protection.

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