U.S. company makes bid for Leica Geosystems

Danaher Corp., a U.S.-based maker of industrial implements and tools, offered June 26 to buy Switzerland’s Leica Geosystems after that company rejected an offer from Hexagon AB of Sweden.

Danaher pledged to pay $386 per share, for a total price of $950 million. The company also expects to assume $80 million in debt. After discussions in which Leica Geosystems directors say Danaher officials made a commitment to maintain the company’s identity and safeguard the interests of its customers and employees, Leica’s board recommended shareholders accept the offer. The board unanimously rejected the $345-per-share Hexagon offer, which was unsolicited.

In response to that offer, Leica’s board announced it was exploring alternatives that would provide fair value for the company’s shareholders.

Leica Geosystems, which has annual revenue of $600 million, would become part of Danaher’s professional instrumentation business if the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, takes place.