Fimalac, based in France, is a classic conglomerate. Although it calls itself a "business-to-business services specialist," it has such diverse holdings as Fitch, which provides ratings for debt instruments; Facom, a hand-tool manufacturer; and LBC, which provides chemicals storage.
It seems the French conglomerate wants some attention. To this end, yesterday the company announced it got an offer of $494 million in cash for the Facom unit. The offer came from Stanley Works
A key part of the deal is bringing together two complementary product lines. Stanley is strong in construction tools and the DIY markets, while Facom's strength lies in industrial and automotive spheres. Stanley execs also cited significant cost savings as the primary deal impetus and also alluded to reduced dependence on its larger corporate customers and core DIY markets.
What's more, there's an opportunity for Stanley to penetrate European markets, as well as to sell Facom products in the U.S.
Is this another example of wishful thinking? Perhaps not. During its conference call, Stanley execs indicated estimates of the upside of the deal.
And it is indeed a sweet one. In 2006, the deal is expected to add $0.10 cents per share in earnings, then $0.35 cents per share in 2007, and $0.65 cents per share in 2008. Keep in mind that buyers often tone down such estimates -- which may well prove to be the case here -- as the company estimates revenue synergies will only occur five years hence.
So why is Stanley getting such a good deal? Well, Stanley is a well-managed company and is also paying cash. Fimalac will probably want to use the cash windfall to build out its financial business segment. As for Stanley, a cash deal means no dilution for its shareholders (a vote of confidence, if you will, on the part of management). If they believe the returns on this deal will be big, why not give as much upside to shareholders?
But Wall Street loves the deal, if Stanley's stock price going up 8% from Friday's close is any indicator. Ironically enough, it looks like a classic conglomerate has put together a well-thought-out, focused acquisition.
Fool contributor Tom Taulli does not own shares of any company mentioned in this article.