Clarcor buying $100M+ fuel filter business

Stanadyne unit posted 34% operating margin last year

Clarcor executives have signed an agreement to buy a division of a Connecticut-based manufacturing company that makes fuel filters for use in off-road, agricultural and construction vehicles.

Franklin-based Clarcor will pay $325 million in cash for the acquisition of the Stanadyne Corp. unit — its third in six months — and bring on about 200 workers in Connecticut and at manufacturing plants in North Carolina and India. The Stanadyne business generated 2013 operating profits of $36.4 million on sales of $107 million. Clarcor plans to pay for the acquisition via a new $315 million variable rate unsecured term loan and a draw from existing lines of credit.

"For more than 50 years, Stanadyne has been a leader in the design, manufacture and supply of original equipment diesel fuel filtration products to many of the biggest names in the industry," said Clarcor Chairman, President and CEO Chris Conway. "By combining this business with the OE capabilities of the other companies in our Engine/Mobile segment, Baldwin Filters and Clark Filter, we believe we will have the scale and focus to better serve OE customers and grow this side of our business in a meaningful fashion."

To help bring on his team's new division, Conway has set up a separate business unit, Clarcor Mobile Engine Solutions, to focus more closely on original equipment manufacturers around the globe.

Shares of Clarcor (Ticker: CLC) closed Monday trading at $55.14, down slightly on the day. So far this year, they've lost almost 15 percent of their value. The company late last year announced it was buying subsidiaries of General Electric and Bekaert for a total of $273 million. Those business added about $250 million to Clarcor's top line, which finished fiscal 2013 at $1.1 billion.