Francisco Partners to exit Metrologic for $720m

The bar code scanner company has agreed to be acquired by Honeywell International after being taken private for $398.5 million in December 2006.

San Francisco-based Francisco Partners’ portfolio company, Metrologic Holdings, has agreed to be acquired by Honeywell International for $720 million (€462 million) in cash. The company was taken private for $398.5 million in December 2006.

Blackwood, New Jersey-based Metrologic Holdings is the parent company of data capture and collection company Metrologic Instruments. Following the transaction, expected to close in the second quarter of 2008, Canadian industrial supplies company Honeywell will merge Metrologic with Honeywell Security, a unit of its automation and control solutions business.

Francisco led the investor group, which acquired Metrologic for $18.50 per share in 2006. Principal Andrew Kowal, who currently sits on the Metrologic board of directors, led the deal on behalf of the firm. The investor group also included multi-strategy hedge fund Elliott Associates. Elliott had approximately $7 billion under management at the time of investment, which has since risen to $10.5 billion.

Global investment bank Morgan Stanley led the group that provided the investor group with $235 million in credit. The deal included a five-year, $35 million revolver, a seven-year, $125 million term loan “B” and an eight-year, $75 million second-lien term loan.

Metrologic produced revenue of approximately $246 million in 2007, selling laser and imaging bar code scanners in 110 countries. The company complements Honeywell’s $390 million purchase of privately-held data collecting device company Hand Held Products in December 2007.

Honeywell’s agreement to purchase Metrologic from Francisco follows another agreement inked by the company earlier this month to purchase Norcross Safety Products from New York-based private equity firm Odyssey Investment Partners for $1.2 billion.

Francisco invests exclusively in technology and technology-enabled services businesses and has approximately $5 billion in committed capital. The firm pursues investments with transaction values ranging from $30 million to $3 billion.