Metrologic Instruments

(MTLG)

signed a definitive agreement to go private for $18.50 a share.

The Blackwood, N.J., technology manufacturer said it will be acquired by a group led by private equity firm Francisco Partners, CEO C. Harry Knowles and Elliott Associates.

Metrologic said its board recommended the deal following the unanimous recommendation of a special committee of independent directors. Needham & Co. delivered a fairness opinion.

Janet and Harry Knowles and Elliott Associates, who control 41.5% and 7.5% of the outstanding common stock respectively, have agreed to vote their shares in favor of the transaction. The Knowles' interests are selling about 84% of their collective ownership. The Knowles are expected to own 15% of the company after the deal.

Metrologic plans to maintain its headquarters in Blackwood and to continue its sales and manufacturing activities out of its current locations. Metrologic does not anticipate any changes to the operations of the business.

Shares rose 43 cents early Tuesday to $18.10.