3M Buys Capital Safety For Record $2.5 Billion

The acquisition is the largest in 3M's 113-year history, giving the conglomerate an expanded offering of personal safety products.

St. Paul, MN-based global manufacturer 3M announced Tuesday that it will buy fall protection maker Capital Safety from private equity firm KKR for a total of $2.5 billion, which includes $700 million in debt.

Capital Safety had annual revenue of $430 million for the fiscal year that ended March 31, and employs about 1,500 people worldwide. Capital Safety makes fall-protection equipment, harnesses, self-retracting lifelines and other products, under the brands Protecta and Dbi-Sala.

"Personal safety is a large and strategically important growth business in the 3M portfolio," 3M Chief Executive Inge Thulin said. "The acquisition of Capital Safety bolsters our personal safety platform and will build on our fundamental strengths in technology, manufacturing, global capabilities, and brand,"  

The purchase price of $1.8 billion is the largest acquisition in 3M's 113-year history. Previously, its biggest deal was a $1.35 billion purchase of filtration company Cuno 10 years ago.

3M expects the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter, to reduce earnings by 4 cents a share in the first 12 months following completion, but add 12 cents a share to earnings if one-time expenses are excluded.

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