Selling tools

Pentair has signed an agreement to sell its tools division to Black and Decker for approximately $775 million as it concentrates on its water systems technology businesses.

Pentair’s Tools Group, which comprises the Porter-Cable, Delta, DeVilbiss Air Power, Oldham Saw, and FLEX brands, among others saw sales in 2003 of $1.08 billion and an operating profit of $82 million.

The company employs approximately 4,200 people at facilities around the globe – in North America, Europe and Asia.

The transaction is expected to close in 2004, following the completion of customary regulatory clearance.

‘In the 1990s, Pentair was largely defined by its tools businesses but, today, the water and enclosures businesses are the driving forces in our growth and expansion,’ said Randall J. Hogan, Pentair chairman and chief executive officer.

Proceeds from the sale of Pentair’s tools group will be used to pay down debt associated with Pentair’s acquisition of Wicor Industries, which recently was approved by the Federal Trade Commission and is expected to be complete at the end of July.

Wicor, which manufactures water system, filtration, and pool equipment products under the Sta-Rite, SHURflo, and Hypro brands, employs 3,500 people in 24 locations worldwide. The acquisition of the company cost Pentair $850 million in cash earlier in the year.