3M acquires Winterthur Technologies

Acquisition of Swiss precision grinding technology supplier valued at $448 million.

Winterthur is a Zurich, Switzerland-based global supplier of precision grinding technology serving customers in the growing area of hard-to-grind precision applications in industrial, automotive, aircraft and cutting tools.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2011.

Winterthur participates in the more than $14 billion abrasives market, which is projected to grow at a rate of greater than 4 percent per year. Demand for hard-to-grind and high-precision materials is fueling the need for improved grinding and finishing processes.

"Adding Winterthur enhances and extends our existing product line, enabling us to provide solutions for a broader range of industrial grinding and finishing needs," said Chris Holmes, vice president and general manager, 3M Abrasive Systems Division.

Winterthur employs approximately 1,300 people and had sales of $114 million for the first six months of 2010. It has production facilities in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Belgium, the U.S., Russia, China and Korea.