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Ansell's latest acquisition bolsters North American market

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ISELIN, N.J.—Ansell Ltd. plans to bolster its position in the North American glove market by purchasing BarrierSafe Solutions International for about $615 million.

Odyssey Investment Partners L.L.C., the equity group that has owned BarrierSafe since 2011, and Ansell signed a definitive agreement on the purchase in late November.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and other conditions. It is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014.

Based in Lake Forest, Ill., BarrierSafe is a designer, producer and marketer of several glove lines—most made from synthetic materials such as nitrile, neoprene and vinyl—for the industrial, auto aftermarket, emergency medical services, dental and life sciences industries.

Founded in 1987, BarrierSafe also makes and distributes a range of injection-molded protective footwear and other related products.

It employs about 250 at facilities in North America and Southeast Asia, an Ansell spokesman said. Currently, Ansell plans to keep the work force intact, he said.

BarrierSafe CEO Michael Mattos and Joseph Kubicek, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, also will remain with the business as it moves under Ansell's wing, according to Magnus Nicolin, CEO and managing director of Ansell, which has its North American headquarters in Iselin but is based globally in Melbourne, Australia.

“I expect BarrierSafe senior management to play important roles in the success of the combined business going forward,” he said.

Both Mattos and Kubicek will become part of Ansell's leadership team upon completion of the transaction, Nicolin said.

“The acquisition of BarrierSafe is a rare opportunity to strengthen the position of Ansell in the core North American single-use glove market and will further enhance our position as the global leader in hand protection solutions,” he said.

Once the transaction is complete, Nicolin said it will represent another move aimed at fulfilling the company's growth objectives in target industries and remains consistent with the glove and condom manufacturer's disciplined approach to mergers and acquisitions.

BarrierSafe grew quickly in 2012 when Odyssey made two acquisitions to bolster the glove maker's business.

In March of that year, it purchased disposable glove and woven apparel producer High Five Products Inc. and in December 2012 it bought footwear and clothing maker Onguard Industries L.L.C.

Meanwhile, Ansell expanded dramatically during late 2012 and 2013.

Its acquisitions included Hercules Equipamentos de Protecao Ltda. of Brazil in December 2012 to help build its glove and personal equipment operation; Preferred Surgical Products L.L.C., a developer of technology and products used for injection prevention with technology that fits well with Ansell's Sandel brand of health care safety devices, in January 2013; and Midas C Ltd., a South Korean cut-resistant, urethane-coated industrial glove manufacturer with expertise in polyurethane coatings and yarn wrapping, in the latter part of 2013.