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Ingersoll-Rand Company Limited, Hamilton, Bermuda, sold its Drilling Solutions business unit to Atlas Copco AB, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, for approximately $225 million. The transaction includes production facilities in Garland, TX; Roanoke, VA; Yokohama, Japan; and Xuan Hua, China; and Ingersoll-Rand Equipment Stores in Knoxville and Nashville, TN; and Clarks Summit, PA. Also, the transaction includes Drilling Solutions assets held by Ingersoll-Rand (India) Limited, subject to approval by the shareholders of the Indian company, which is expected in the third quarter of 2004. The transaction does not include Ingersoll-Rand's France-based Montabert business unit, which manufactures hydraulic rock-breaking equipment. 'This divestiture has significant strategic and symbolic importance for our company,' said Herbert L. Henkel, chairman, president and CEO. 'Strategically, it improves our ability to invest in opportunities that enhance our core product lines, recurring-revenue stream, and geographic reach.
Guardair Corporation, Chicopee, MA, acquired the assets of Nortech Corporation, Midland Park, NJ. A manufacturer of pneumatic powered vacuums since 1959, Nortech will operate as a division of Guardair Corporation and will be based at Guardair's Chicopee, MA headquarters. The Nortech product line includes more than 20 different vacuum models in addition to a complete set of accessories and options. The Nortech acquisition complements Guardair's pneumatic tool business and provides additional opportunities for its existing product line in the industrial cleaning market. Guardair manufactures safety air guns, spray equipment and accessories for sale into the industrial MRO market. In 1999, Guardair acquired the assets of Allpax Gasket Cutter Products, Inc., the largest U.S. manufacturer of gasket cutters, hollow punch tools and accessories.
The worldwide Control Valve market, which totaled nearly $2.9 billion in 2003, will reach nearly $3.4 billion by the end of 2008, expanding at a cumulative annual growth rate exceeding 3 percent, according to a new study by the ARC Advisory Group. 'Long-term business prospects for control valve suppliers look reasonably bright due to MRO business opportunities in developed regions and new projects' business in developing countries,' according to Senior Analyst Dave Clayton, author of ARC's Control Valve Worldwide Outlook. See article on p. 4 of this section.
A jury in federal district court in Tyler, Texas has awarded Halliburton Energy Services damages of $24 million in a patent infringement case filed against Smith International, Cause No. 4:02CV269, Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. v. Smith International, Inc. filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division. The case involved one of the company's three-cone drill bit product lines called IDEASTM. The plaintiff claimed these drill bits infringed certain of the plaintiff's patents. The company's other three-cone drill bits and diamond drill bits were not involved in this litigation. The jury found that the company infringed the claims asserted by the plaintiff and that certain of the infringements were willful. Therefore, the court may increase the damages, in its