sold its television lens unit to
for $850 million in cash, money it will use to reduce debt and fund its pension plan.
3M said its acquisition of Corning Precision Lens will add about 7 cents a share to earnings next year, after the cost of acquisition. Closing is expected at the end of 20002. The unit is world's biggest manufacturer of lens systems for rear-projection televisions. 3M said the acquisition would bolster its position in the displays industry.
The transaction sent Corning's shares up almost 20% to $2.55 on the Instinet premarket session.