Honeywell buys maker of firefighter, electrician safety products

NEWARK, N.J. -- Honeywell International Inc. on Friday said it will buy Norcross Safety Products LLC for $1.2 billion to expand its line of personal protective gear.

Norcross, based in Oak Brook, Ill., makes protective and safety equipment for the fire service, utility and general industrial worker segments. Honeywell is buying the company from its majority owner, Odyssey Investment Partners.

Morris Township, N.J.-based Honeywell will integrate the company into Honeywell Life Safety, part of its automation and control solutions group, which had sales of $3.44 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Norcross had revenues of about $609 million in 2007, said Honeywell, which had revenues of $34.6 billion that year.

Honeywell, a diversified manufacturer, also has business segments in aerospace and transportation systems.

Roger Fradin, president and CEO of Honeywell's automation and control group, said the acquisition gives Honeywell "a complete platform in a fragmented, global segment which is expected to yield substantial growth opportunities."

"From emergency responders, to electrical workers to the industrial work force, Norcross's innovative solutions protect those who work in environments where safety protection is paramount," Fradin said.

Honeywell spokeswoman Julie Franklin said it has no immediate plans for layoffs at Norcross, which she said has 3,300 employees in several locations, including Charleston, S.C., Cranston, R.I., and Dayton, Ohio, with others in Canada, Mexico and Europe.

"The plans are to keep operating those businesses from where they are operating today," Franklin said. "So there's no immediate plans for consolidations."

Norcross products include air purifying respirators, protective headgear and footwear, firefighter turnout gear, high-voltage sleeves and gloves, and arc flash protectors.

Honeywell shares rose 63 cents to $58.27 Friday.


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