Renishaw Attracts Interest From Danaher, Hexagon

Renishaw Plc jumped the most in more than three weeks, after people familiar with the matter said the British engineering firm is attracting potential interest from Danaher Corp. and Swedish rival Hexagon AB.

Shares of Renishaw, which announced earlier this month it’s exploring a sale, rose as much as 6.7% in London trading Monday. They were up 5.7% at 11:02 a.m., giving the company a market value of 4.6 billion pounds ($6.4 billion).

Danaher, the $161 billion medical equipment maker, is considering teaming up with Fortive Corp., the industrial company it spun off in 2016, to bid for Renishaw and then split up the business, the people said. Renishaw may also approach rival engineering and precision measurement companies such as Ametek Inc., Mettler-Toledo International Inc., Japan’s Keyence Corp. and France’s Schneider Electric SE, the people said.

A small number of private equity firms have separately shown interest, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Gloucestershire-based Renishaw is working with adviser UBS Group AG on the process.

Renishaw said in early March it’s putting itself up for sale after the two founders of the almost 50-year-old firm decided to sell their holdings. Executive Chairman David McMurtry and Deputy Chairman John Deer, who together own about 53% of the company, told the board they prefer to shed their stakes entirely.

The company trades at nearly 57 times this financial year’s estimated earnings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The need to offer a premium to that already-high valuation could discourage some potential bidders, the people said.

Renishaw’s main business is selling precision measurement products that help manufacturers produce and inspect components and keep machinery and industrial automation systems running. It also specializes in 3D printing parts from metal powder and sells products to a diverse set of industries including health care.

The sale process is still in early stages and potential suitors could decide against bidding or Renishaw could opt to remain independent, the people said.

Representatives for Fortive, Hexagon, Mettler-Toledo, Renishaw and Schneider declined to comment. Spokespeople for Ametek, Danaher and Keyence didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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