TE Connectivity to buy sensor maker for $1.7 billion

Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:22pm EDT

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(Reuters) -

Swiss electronics company TE Connectivity TEL.N said it would buy U.S.-based sensor maker Measurement Specialties Inc MEAS.O for about $1.7 billion, including debt, to grab a bigger slice of the high-growth global sensor market.

TE Connectivity was formerly known as Tyco Electronics, which split from Tyco International Ltd TYC.N in 2007. The company said it expects the global sensor market will grow to $116 billion by 2019 from $80 billion this year.

TE, which makes pressure and position sensors for the automotive and aerospace industries, said the size of the global market for its products is about $4 billion to $5 billion.

Measurement Specialties, based in Hampton, Virginia, makes sensors that measure temperature, pressure, acceleration or humidity for the industrial, medical and consumer appliance markets.

TE said that buying Measurement Specialties would give the combined company a shot at a worldwide sensor market worth about $40 billion.

"All of a sudden, (the deal) gives TE a significantly great amount of breadth in the sensor family," said Amitabh Passi, a San Francisco-based analyst at UBS Equities.

The deal would help its sensor business grow to $800 million in revenue annually from $200 million now, according to TE. The company reported revenue of $13.28 billion in fiscal 2013.

TE's acquisition of Measurement Specialties follows a deal by Amphenol Corp APH.N, which makes fiber optic cables and related devices, to buy General Electric's GE.N advanced sensors business for about $318 million late last year.

TE's offer of $86 per share for each Measurement Specialties share represents a premium of a little over 10 percent to the stock's closing price on Wednesday.

Measurement Specialties' stock surged 10.34 percent in after-hours trading to $86.07, while TE Connectivity's stock dipped 0.2 percent to $61.81.

The deal is worth $1.37 billion, excluding debt, based on Measurement Specialties' 15.9 million shares outstanding as of May 21.

Measurement Specialties' revenue increased 19 percent to $412.7 million for the year ending March 31, 2014.

TE said it expects adjusted profit to rise in the mid-single digits, or 4 cents to 6 cents per share, in the first year after the deal is completed.

The Swiss company plans to fund the deal through cash and additional debt. TE expects the deal to close in calendar 2014.

TE's financial advisers were Citi and Centerview Partners LLC; legal counsel was Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

Barclays was the financial adviser for Measurement Specialties, while DLA Piper was outside counsel.

(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings, Savio D'Souza and Jan Paschal)

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