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Cooper Industries offers £144m for MTL Instruments

21 December, 2007

The board of the Luton-based intrinsic safety specialist MTL is recommending that its shareholders accept a £144m cash offer for the business, made by Cooper Control (UK), a subsidiary of the US-based conglomerate, Cooper Industries. The offer price of 708.5p per share represents a premium of about 30% on MTLís closing price on the 1 November 2007, the day before Cooper first expressed an interest in MTL.

The proposed acquisition will allow Cooper to expand its distribution channels, exploit MTLís technologies, and offer customised systems to key global customers.

"We anticipate that Cooper will help us to accelerate our progress towards our goal of being the leading provider of automation networking solutions," says MTLís chief executive, Dr Graeme Philp. "They will help us to develop packaged solutions for our customers to supplement our instrumentation business whilst, importantly, preserving our independence as a supplier to the world`s leading automation systems companies. In our traditional hazardous area business, the combination of Cooper and MTL will make us one of the strongest global providers of hazardous area protection equipment".

MTLís chairman, Malcolm Coster, believes that the offer "represents an excellent deal for MTL`s shareholders and reflects the significant value that the company has built over the past few years. There is much still to do in building the market position that MTL is targeting for the future, and Cooper`s complementary product range and global infrastructure will be instrumental in helping MTL to achieve this."

"We are excited about this transaction," says Cooperís chairman and chief executive, Kirk Hachigan. "MTL has a strong history of excellent product quality and building solid customer relationships. We look forward to working with MTL`s mangement and extended team to jointly drive accelerated sales growth, particularly in the European and Asian markets."

MTL, which was set up as Measurement Technology Ltd in 1971, now manufactures and supplies a wide range of equipment, including intrinsic safety explosion protection devices, lightning and surge protection systems, fieldbus components, modular process control hardware and software, and gas analysis equipment.

In recent years, MTL has made several acquisitions including German hazardous area operator terminal supplier GeCma Components, the wireless specialist Elpro Technologies, the alarm equipment supplier RTK Instruments, and the SCADA integrator Ocean Technical Systems.

Cooper Industries is a global manufacturer with 2006 revenues worth $5.2bn and a net income of $464m. About a third of its sales come from outside the US. It employs some 31,000 people around the globe.

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