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Colfax undefined on Thursday announced that it has struck a deal to sell its air and gas handling division to private-equity firm KPS Capital Partners for approximately $1.8 billion.

Completion of the mostly cash transaction is expected in the second half of 2019 and is subject to customary closing conditions and approvals, Colfax said in a statement. Colfax is expected to report the air and gas handling business as a discontinued operation in its future results. 

Cash raised from the sale will go toward paying down debt and pursuing other acquisition opportunities, Colfax CEO Matt Trerotola said.

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"This transaction will position us to achieve our leverage target and pursue strategic bolt-on acquisitions in our medical technology and fabrication technology segments," Trerotola said. 

Colfax, based in Annapolis Junction, Maryland, is a self-described diversified technology company, though its roots are in building and maintaining fluid handling and mechanical power transmission equipment.

The company recently acquired DJO Global Inc. from private-equity giant Blackstone Group for $3.15 billion in cash to gain a foothold in the market for orthopedics devices.

Shares of Colfax gained more than 4% to $27.57 in early trading on Thursday. They ended the day Wednesday up 2.16% at $26.49.