Glenview, IL -Illinois Tool Works (ITW), a diversified manufacturer of engineered components and industrial systems, has singed an agreement to acquire Instron from private equity firm Kirtland Capital Partners for an undisclosed amount. Based in Norwood, Massachusetts, Instron manufactures and sells products for material and structural testing and has operations in 13 countries. Instron’s 2005 revenues are forecasted to be $240 million. “With an installed base of more than 70,000 instruments worldwide, Instron’s brand name is highly valued and recognized as a leader in material testing. We also are excited about the company’s long-term growth potential and geographic span, with revenues almost evenly spread across the Americas, Europe and Asia,” said David B. Speer, president and CEO of ITW. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of October.

Instron is the leading provider of laboratory physical testing instrumentation, a market valued at more than $500 million (see page 1). Kirtland Capital purchased Instron for $160 million in 1999 and took it private (see IBO 5/15/99). ITW is a publicly listed company with $11.7 billion in annual revenues, but no presence in any laboratory testing markets. However, Instron fits very well with the other ITW businesses such as Hobart, Miller and Jetline Engineering welding activities, which will have customer overlaps with Instron for the testing of weldments [CHK]. Magnaflux nondestructive testing is also a complementary activity to Instron’s products.

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