UPDATE 2-Danaher, Cooper to sell tools JV to Bain for $1.6 bln

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Oct 10 (Reuters) - Danaher Corp and CooperIndustries agreed to sell their hand and power toolsjoint venture, Apex Tool Group, to Bain Capital for about $1.6billion, joining the growing trend among U.S. conglomerates toshed non-core assets.

Danaher and Cooper each own 50 percent of Apex, which makesCrescent wrenches, Lufkin measuring tapes and hand tools forSears Holdings Corp's Craftsman brand.

Apex rival Stanley Black & Decker Inc said onTuesday it would sell its door lock and bath fixture business toSpectrum Brands Holdings Inc for $1.4 billion toconcentrate on its higher-margin businesses, including hand andpower tools.

Apex was formed in July 2010 by combining the toolbusinesses of Danaher and Cooper, which is in the process ofbeing acquired by Eaton Corp for $11.8 billion.

Eaton is primarily interested in Cooper's line of electricalproducts, such as lighting and wiring devices.

Apex, based in Sparks, Maryland, has annual revenue of about$1.5 billion and employs about 8,000 people in 30 countries,according to its website.

Danaher said it would receive about $650 million in netproceeds from the sale, which is expected to close in the firsthalf of 2013. A statement from Cooper did not mention proceeds.

Danaher, which makes medical as well as industrial products,said last month that it would buy Iris International Inc

for about $355 million to expand its medicaldiagnostics business.

Reuters reported in September that Bain, the private equityfirm co-founded by U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney, wasclose to buying Apex, prevailing over Platinum Equity LLC andAmerican Securities LLC in an auction.

Goldman Sachs was Apex's exclusive financial adviser.

(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Bangalore; Editing bySaumyadeb Chakrabarty and Ted Kerr)

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