Harbour Group Said to Shop Lincoln Unit, May Fetch $1 Billion

Lincoln Industrial Corp., the 100-year-old maker of lubrication pumps, is for sale and may fetch as much as $1 billion, said three people with knowledge of the matter.

Harbour Group, the investment firm that owns St. Louis-based Lincoln, is aiming to get interest from bigger industrial companies such as Ingersoll-Rand Plc, Parker Hannifin Corp. and Idex Corp., said two of the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are private.

Lincoln anticipates earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of about $100 million this year on sales of $400 million, two of the people said. Harbour and its investment bankers at Robert W. Baird & Co. are seeking 9 to 10 times Ebitda in a sale, those people said. An effort to sell Lincoln in 2008 didn’t lead to a transaction, they said.

Paul Wagman, a spokesman for Harbour Group, declined to comment. Misty Zelent, a spokeswoman for Swords, Ireland-based Ingersoll, and Christopher Farage, a spokesman for Cleveland- based Parker Hannifin, also declined to comment. A spokesman for Northbrook, Illinois-based Idex couldn’t immediately be reached.

If Lincoln finds a buyer, it’s not likely to reach a sale agreement for several weeks, two of the people said.

Grease Guns

Lincoln is the largest company in the lubrication and pumping system business, the company said on its website, selling tools such as grease guns to car repair shops, and pumping systems that help mining companies lubricate drilling equipment.

Harbour Group was founded in 1976 by Sam Fox, a St. Louis businessman and Republican fundraiser who later served as U.S. ambassador to Belgium under President George W. Bush. The firm focuses on acquiring companies in industries such as logistics, tool distribution and lubricating systems, and it bought Lincoln in 2005 without disclosing a price.

Harbour later bought two other lubrication equipment companies, Alemite LLC and Reelcraft Industries Inc., through the holding company that controls Lincoln.

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