By Pennsylvania Business Daily Report

MSA Safety Incorporated, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based global safety equipment manufacturer, will acquire United Kingdom-based Latchways plc, a provider of fall protection systems and solutions, for $16.85 per share, the companies announced today.

The proposed cash acquisition, expected to close in October, represents an important step in MSA’s corporate strategy to expand its investment, doubling its fall protection business and positioning itself as one of the world’s largest fall protection providers.

"This acquisition accelerates a key element of our corporate strategy and our core product focus in that it extends our fall protection product offerings, particularly within the area of engineered systems," William M. Lambert, MSA’s chairman, president and CEO, said "Equally important, MSA stands to benefit from Latchways' innovative products and technology…these benefits will broaden our opportunities in the utilities, telecom, construction and aircraft market segments, further balancing MSA's market strengths in the oil and gas and fire service industries,"

The transaction, valued at approximately $191 million, implies an enterprise value for Latchways of  approximately $176 million. Lazard is acting as a financial adviser to MSA, and Reed Smith LLP is legal counsel.

Established in 1914, MSA Safety develops, manufactures and supplies safety products protecting people and facility infrastructures. Its products integrate a combination of electronics, mechanical systems and advanced materials to protect users against hazardous or life-threatening situations.

Since 1974, Latchways has protected the safety of individuals working at heights, establishing a reputation for designing, assembling and marketing high-quality fall protection products with high technical and customer support levels.