3M to buy Johnson Controls safety gear business for $2 billion

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3M Co (MMM. N) said on Thursday it would buy Johnson Controls International Plc's (JCI. N) safety gear business, Scott Safety, in deal with an enterprise value of $2 billion. Scott Safety makes respiratory and protective equipment and other safety products for firefighters, industrial workers, police squads and the U.S. military. The Monroe, North Carolina-based business's 2016 revenue was about $570 million and would complement 3M's personal safety business, which also manufactures safety devices, 3M said.

Johnson Controls, which manufactures products ranging from car batteries to heating equipment, had been exploring a sale of the business, Reuters had reported last week.

Proceeds from the deal are expected to be about $1.8 billion-$1.9 billion, and would be used to repay a portion of Tyco International Plc's $4.0 billion of merger-related debt, Johnson Controls said. Johnson Controls agreed to buy Ireland-based peer Tyco International in January last year and the merger completed in September.

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