Littelfuse buying Hamlin for $145 million

CHICAGO (AP) -- Circuit protection company Littelfuse Inc. said Monday that it will buy sensor technology company Hamlin Inc. from Key Safety Systems for $145 million in cash.

Hamlin, headquartered in Lake Mills, Wis., makes sensor technology used in the automotive industry, as well as in electronics and industrial markets. It had revenue of about $76 million in 2012.

Littelfuse said the deal is a major step forward in its plans to grow its automotive sensor business. The deal follows the company's 2012 acquisition of automotive sensor company Accel. The company said the Hamlin deal also extends its business beyond the automotive market with products that can be sold through a number of electronics distribution partners.

The company said the Hamlin business will add 35 cents per share to fiscal 2014 earnings. The deal is expected to close by the end of May.

Shares of Chicago-based Littelfuse fell $3.22, or 4.8 percent, to close at $63.83, amid a broad market decline.