US-based diversified innovative technology devices manufacturer 3M has acquired precision grinding tool major Swiss-based Winterthur Technologies AG--which has a subsidiary in India called Wendt India--for $448 million.

Winterthur caters to sectors such as industrial, automotive, aircraft, and cutting tools.

The Board of Directors of Winterthur unanimously recommends the offer of $63.56 per share to Winterthur’s shareholders. The Chairman of Winterthur has entered into an irrevocable undertaking with 3M to tender his 14% of the shares in Winterthur, the company said in a statement.

The offer is conditional upon a tendering of 66.67% percent of the shares of Winterthur and satisfying certain other customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2011.

With $23 billion in sales, 3M employs 75,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 65 countries. Winterthur employs approximately 1300 people with first six months 2010 sales of $114 million, up more than 30% over the same period last year.

Wendt (India), a leading manufacturer of superabrasive grinding wheels and tools (diamond and cubicboron nitride) in India with 35% market share, was incorporated in 1980 as a Joint Venture between Wendt GmbH and The House of Khataus.  In 1991, Carborundum Universal Ltd (CUMI), a $3 Billion Murugappa Group Company acquired the Khatau’s stake in the business. Since then, WIL has been a 40-40 Joint Venture between Wendt GmbH and CUMI. The public holds the balance 20% equity.

Combining Winterthur with 3M will help extend 3M’s reach in numerous abrasives applications.

“We believe 3M is the ideal strategic partner for a sustainable development of Winterthur,” said Dr Edgar Rappold, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Winterthur.  “3M's purchase offer is in the best interests of Winterthur, our shareholders, employees, clients and suppliers. The transaction promises a successful shared future for a company that is admired around the world for its power to innovate,” he said.

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