3M
(NYSE: MMM) is taking a deep plunge into the personal safety segment. It has agreed to buy the Scott Safety business of Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) for a total enterprise value of around $2 billion, both companies announced in separate press releases. The buyer is paying in cash.

Scott Safety sells a wide range of safety gear, including self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) systems, compressors, and gas detectors. Its products are used by a wide range of public and private enterprises.

"Personal safety is a core growth business within the 3M portfolio," 3M Chairman Inge Thulin said. "This acquisition leverages our fundamental strengths in technology, manufacturing, global capabilities and brand, and builds upon recent portfolio actions within our Safety and Graphics business to position it for long-term success."

The company expects the absorption of Scott Safety will be $0.10 per share accretive to adjusted earnings in the year after the deal closes.

In 2016, under the Johnson Controls umbrella, Scott Safety took in annual revenue of around $570 million, with EBITDA of roughly $155 million. It currently employs approximately 1,500 people worldwide.

Describing the sale as "a mutually beneficial strategic transaction," Johnson Controls CEO Alex Molinaroli said, "Consistent with our priority to focus the portfolio on our two core platforms of Buildings and Energy, we continue to execute on our strategic plan, which positions us to deliver a 12% to 15% earnings per share [compound annual growth rate] by fiscal 2020."

Johnson Controls will use the estimated $1.8 billion to $1.9 billion net proceeds from the sale to retire debt.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of this year, subject to approval from the relevant regulators. 3M said it will finance the deal with a combination of cash on hand, and debt.

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Eric Volkman has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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