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Figgie International Inc. has agreed to sell its Snorkel division for $150 million plus assumed debt and plans to use the proceeds from the sale to make acquisitions for its Scott Aviation business in Lancaster, the Ohio-based firm said Monday.

Figgie said it will use the proceeds from the sale of Snorkel to Omniquip International Inc. of Port Washington, Wis., to make strategic acquisitions for Scott.

"We already have identified and evaluated several acquisition candidates," said Glen W. Lindemann, Scott's president. "We are particularly looking at companies and product lines that serve respiratory and related markets."

Lindemann said acquisitions would bolster Scott's share of its existing markets and allow it to grow by adding new product lines and expanding its overseas presence. Lindemann said Scott plans to make a "significant acquisition" by the end of September.

Figgie said the Snorkel sale and the plan to make acquisitions to bolster its Scott Aviation business were not related to the unsolicited $15-per-share takeover offer it received earlier this month from Heico Holding Co. Heico bid the same amount in May and Figgie gave no response.

Figgie said it had started negotiations with Omniquip long before Heico made its bid on July 3. "Selling Snorkel allows us to concentrate on the growth potential at our Scott Aviation and Interstate Electronics divisions," said Steven L. Siemborski, Figgie's senior vice president and chief financial officer.

Figgie also said its board of directors has decided to delay naming a new chief executive officer until August as it continues to review candidates.

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