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Acquisition expands 3M’s presence in PPE sector

24 June 2015

3M has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Capital Safety from KKR for a total enterprise value of $2.5billion, including the assumption of approximately $0.7bn of debt, net of cash acquired.

Capital Safety is a leading global provider of fall protection equipment, one of the fastest growing safety categories within the global personal protective equipment industry.


The PPE industry is a strategic priority for 3M. Demand is rapidly growing, driven by increasing regulatory focus on worker safety across both developed and developing countries.


Capital Safety’s products include harnesses, lanyards, self-retracting lifelines and engineered systems sold under well known global brands DBI-SALA and Protecta. The company has demonstrated strong and consistent growth with sales increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 10% over the past four years. The company’s sales, adjusted to include recent acquisitions on a full year basis, were approximately $430million for its fiscal year ended March 31, 2015.

3M’s Personal Safety business, part of 3M’s Safety and Graphics Business Group, is a global provider of respiratory and hearing protection solutions that help improve the safety and security of workers. The business also supplies products and solutions in other safety categories such as reflective materials for high visibility apparel, protective clothing and eyewear, among others.


"Personal safety is a large and strategically important growth business in the 3M portfolio,” said Inge G. Thulin, 3M chairman, president and chief executive officer. "The acquisition of Capital Safety bolsters our personal safety platform and will build on our fundamental strengths in technology, manufacturing, global capabilities and brand.”


"Capital Safety is a tremendous business with a strong reputation in the safety industry and a talented team of dedicated employees,” added Frank Little, executive vice president, 3M Safety and Graphics Business Group. "3M’s brand in personal protective equipment, combined with our global capability, will provide a broader array of products and solutions to both Capital Safety’s and 3M’s customers."


The business employs approximately 1500 people worldwide and is headquartered in Bloomington, Minn.


"We have had an absolutely fantastic partnership with the management and employees of Capital Safety. Over the past three years, the company has driven impressive top-line growth, broadened its geographic presence and further optimized its operations. Today, Capital Safety is a clear global leader in fall protection,” Pete Stavros, member of KKR and head of the Industrials team, said. "3M is a perfect home for a company and team that is so deeply committed to safety.”


"This is a great strategic fit and provides Capital Safety and its employees with a strong platform for future growth,” said Stephen Oswald, chief executive officer, Capital Safety. "Each company also highly values innovation and this will enable us to drive further product development and provide a broader array of solutions to both Capital Safety and 3M customers.”

The transaction is expected to close in Q3, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. 3M will finance the transaction with existing cash, a portion of which will come from outside the US.


Morgan Stanley acted as the exclusive financial advisor to 3M. Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as the exclusive financial advisor to KKR.