Honeywell says bids 1.4 bln dollars for Sperian

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US conglomerate Honeywell International Inc. bid 1.4 billion dollars (1.13 billion euros) on Wednesday to take over French protection equipment company Sperian Protection, the two companies said.

Honeywell offered 117 per share in cash for Sperian, representing a 67 percent premium over the last price before private equity firm Cinven made a 536 million euro bid for the maker of head and body protection

Sperian's board approved the bid and was to recommend shareholders take up the offer, the company's said in a joint statement.

French lens maker Essilor and the wife of Sperian's founder, Ginette Dalloz, who hold a combined 28 percent of the company's capital, had already indicated they would take up the offer.

In addition to requiring shareholder approval, the deal also needed the blessing of EU and US antitrust regulators as well as the French government in order to go ahead, the companies said.

"In combination with Sperian, Honeywell anticipates that its safety products business will benefit from significant synergies, expanded access to global distribution channels, and a strong retail presence," they said.

"The combined business will offer a full range of complementary 'head to toe' products for those who work in environments where safety is paramount, including the general industrial, fire service, and electrical safety segments," they added.

© 2010 AFP

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