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Illinois Tool Divests Forkardt

Zacks Equity Research

Industrial tool maker, Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW) divested its Forkardt assets to Hardinge Inc. (HDNG) for approximately $34 million, funded in cash and debt.

Forkardt is a Michigan based company that was merged with ITW Workholding in 2004. Since then, the combined entities grew to become one of the leading manufacturers of high-precision, specialty and customized workholding devices for machine tools. Forkardt has well-recognized brands working under its umbrella: viz, Forkardt, NA Woodworth, Buck Chuck, Sheffler Collet, and Logansport Cylinder.

With the divestment of Forkardt, Illinois Tool is likely to lose as much as $47 million in revenue, which the business generated in year 2012 while it earned $34 million in sale proceeds.

Prior to this transaction, Illinois Tool divested its Decorative Surfaces segment in the fourth quarter 2012 as part of the company’s strategic initiative to grow through disposition of non-core business. Alongside divestments, meaningful acquisitions also remain a preferred way for expansion; the company spent roughly $730 million on acquisitions for annualized acquired revenue of approximately $500 million in 2012.

Other strategic initiatives of Illinois Tool aimed at long-term growth include Business Simplification and Strategic Sourcing. The first strategy is expected to bring smaller revenue generation units having common products or line of business under one roof while the second initiative will enable the company to better manage its raw materials and other costs.

Illinois Tool Works is one of the leading manufacturers of industrial products and equipment. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks to watch out for are Tri-Tech Holding, Inc. (TRIT), Graco Inc. (GGG), and Omnitek Engineering Corp. (OMTK), each holding a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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