Ansell to Purchase BarrierSafe Glove Maker for $615 Million

Ansell Ltd., the maker of Hyflex industrial gloves, agreed to buy BarrierSafe Solutions International for about $615 million, bolstering sales of hand protection products in North America.

The acquisition from Odyssey Investment Partners and others is subject to U.S. antitrust clearance and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014, Melbourne-based Ansell said in an e-mailed statement today. The purchase will be funded by a $300 million debt facility and the sale of new shares through a private placement of A$338 million ($308 million) and a share purchase plan of as much as A$100 million.

Acquisitions will be a key part of Ansell’s growth strategy, the company said in July 2010. BarrierSafe is the leading North American provider of single-use gloves, Ansell said today. Founded in 1987, it has annual sales of about $290 million and will start adding to Ansell’s earnings next year, excluding transaction costs and one-time integration expenses.

“The acquisition of BarrierSafe is a rare opportunity to strengthen the position of Ansell in the core North American single-use glove market and will further enhance our position as the global leader in hand protection solutions,” said Magnus Nicolin, Ansell’s chief executive officer and managing director, in the statement.

Standard & Poor’s revised its rating outlook on Ansell to negative from stable following the announcement, meaning the ratings company sees a one-in-three chance that Ansell’s BBB-long-term credit rating may be lowered over the next two years “because of greater financial leverage and potential integration risks following the acquisition,” it said today.

Ansell was advised by UBS AG, and Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP and Baker & McKenzie provided legal advice.

The announcement was made before the start of trading on the Australian stock exchange. Ansell fell 0.3 percent to A$19.46 yesterday. The shares, which are halted from trading until tomorrow, have jumped 27 percent in 2013, almost double the 15 percent increase of the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index.

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