Lowrance Grabbed by Simrad

The marine-electronics company will be bought for $37 a share.
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Simrad Yachting agreed to buy

Lowrance Electronics

(LEIX)

for $37 a share, a roughly 48% premium to the stock's last closing price, in a deal that will unite two makers of electronics for boats.

Lowrance said the acquisition assigns it an enterprise value of around $215 million. Lowrance will become a wholly owned unit of Simrad.

Shares of Lowrance were surging $11.50, or 46%, to $36.50 in premarket trading Monday. The stock has traded in a range of $19.16 to $32.65 in the last 52 weeks, and it closed Friday at $25.

The board of directors of Lowrance has unanimously approved the merger agreement. Darrell Lowrance, the current chairman and chief executive of Lowrance, will be CEO of the combined company. He founded the Tulsa, Okla., company in 1957 and is still its largest shareholder. Jan Berner, the CEO of Simrad, will become deputy CEO.

Simrad is owned by Altor 2003 Fund, a private equity fund advised by Altor Equity Partners AB, and Kongsberg Gruppen, a Norwegian maritime electronics and defense company.