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Flir Agrees To Buy Ailing Raymarine For $180 Million

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Raymarine PLC (RAY.LN) sold itself to Flir Systems Inc. (FLIR) in a deal worth about $180 million, after Garmin Ltd. (GRMN) earlier Friday publicly revealed its own, lower bid for buy Raymarine if it entered administration. A release Friday from Raymarine, which makes marine radar and other navigation devices for leisure boats, said its board couldn't complete a solvent sale and placed the company in administration. The Flir deal was reached shortly thereafter and followed a "thorough" mergers-and-acquisitons process between Raymarine and various interested parties, the release said. Raymarine also said it decided the Flir deal was the best possible outcome for workers, shareholders and creditors. It estimated the deal would equate to a 20 pence per-share return for stockholders but couldn't be certain until it fully calculates creditor claims. The stock closed Friday in London at 18 pence. In a separate release, Flir said its purchase of Raymarine Holdings Ltd., which represents the entire business operations of Raymarine and its subsidiaries, included repayment of all Raymarine's debt and about $24 million, which is equivalent to 20 pence a share. Earlier Friday, Garmin announced it was willing to buy Raymarine if it entered administration, saying its offer would lead to Raymarine shareholders getting at least 17.5 pence a share. Shares in Flir were down 3.8% at $29.10 in recent trading amid a broad market decline, and Garmin's were up 1.8% at $33.50. -By Joan E. Solsman, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2291; joan.solsman@dowjones.com

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