Bain Capital close to buying Apex Tool Group

Private equity firm Bain Capital is reportedly close to finalizing a deal to buy the Apex Tool Group, a joint venture between Danaher Corp. and Cooper Industries for about $1.5 billion. The deal could be completed within the next several days, according to various newspaper reports.

The Reuters news agency reported a month ago that Bain, American Securities and Platinum Equity were among the final bidders for Apex, which is headquartered in Sparks, Md.

Apex brands are well known in the hand and power tools industry. Those brands include Crescent wrenches, Lufkin measuring tapes, as well as dozens of other brands. Apex, one of the largest hand tool producers in the world, sells those brands and many others in more than 30 countries. The company has more than 7,600 employees. Apex also manufactures private label brands for many retailers and industrial distributors.

Apex serves a multitude of global markets, including automotive, aerospace, electronics, energy, hardware, industrial, and consumer retail.

The Danaher Corp. and Cooper Industries established the Apex Tool Group as a joint venture in July, 2010.  At the time the agreement was announced the company said the joint venture “enables us to move full steam ahead on our vision to provide a broader array of hand and power tools to a more diverse range of end users in automotive and industrial assembly and repair, contractor trades, as well as do-it-yourself consumers.”

The company has sales of $1.5 billion annually.

Former Danaher Tool Group Executive Steve Breitzka is the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. The leadership team for Apex Tool Group includes both Cooper and Danaher executives.

Cooper Industries agreed in May to be acquired by the Eaton Corp. for $11.8 billion. Eaton and Cooper Industries have scheduled a shareholder vote Oct. 26th whether or not to approve the agreement. If approved the new company would have sales of more than $21.5 billion and leverage complementary product offerings between Cooper and Eaton’s electrical businesses.

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