Colfax (CFX - Get Report) 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.

"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.