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updated: 10/12/2012 10:24 AM

Ecolab buying Champion Technologies in $2.2B deal

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Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Ecolab, the cleaning, food safety and pest-control services company, is buying the specialty chemical company Champion Technologies in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $2.2 billion.

Ecolab Chairman and CEO Douglas Baker Jr. said in a statement Friday that the transaction will help expand its geographic reach and enhance its technology offerings.

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"Champion's technology and product strengths in the U.S. and Canada are very complementary to our innovative technology and services in the offshore and international energy markets," he said.

St. Paul, Minn.-based Ecolab Inc. will pay approximately $1.7 billion in cash and issue about 8 million shares of its stock as part of the buyout. Ecolab shares closed at $63.67 per share on Thursday, valuing that portion of the deal at $509 million.

Privately held Champion Technologies is based in Houston and has about 3,300 employees. Its 2011 sales were $1.2 billion.

The deal, which also includes Corsicana Technologies, is expected to close by year's end. It is expected to add to Ecolab's earnings in 2013.

Ecolab also said Friday that it expects third-quarter adjusted earnings of 87 cents per share, at the high end of prior guidance for 83 cents to 87 cents per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected 87 cents per share.

Ecolab will report its third-quarter financial results on Oct. 30.

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