Underwriters Laboratories Inc. announced Aug. 16 that it has agreed to pay $275 million to buy a division of STR Holdings Inc.
UL, a Northbrook-based company known for the product safety tests it conducts and the stamp of approval it affixes to all sorts of goods and devices, is purchasing the quality assurance unit of STR Holdings, a plastics research and development firm based in Enfield, Conn.
The cash transaction, which has been approved by each company's board of directors, is subject to federal approval and expected to close before the end of September.
The acquisition is a “major milestone” in expanding UL's business and services, UL President and CEO Keith Williams said in a news release.
STR's quality assurance division, which tests and inspects consumer products, will become part of UL's verification services business. The quality assurance unit has laboratories and offices in 42 countries.
STR was founded in 1944 by two prominent polymer scientists, John DeBell and Henry Richardson. The company specialized in creating innovative engineered compounds and in providing technical service for the growing plastics industry.
Over the years, STR has expanded and evolved into two core businesses — solar encapsulants manufacturing and quality assurance services.
With the sale of the quality assurances unit, STR said the $275 million in cash will be used to increase the firm's financial strength and sharpen its focus on the solar business.