Hitachi Metals to buy Honeywell glass alloy unit

Hitachi Metals Ltd, a Japanese metal and automotive parts maker, said on Wednesday it would buy Metglass Solutions, a unit of U.

S. giant Honeywell International Inc HON.N that makes metallic glass alloys.A Hitachi Metals spokesman declined to comment on the purchase price, but said that Honeywell's Metglass unit has annual sales of around $35 million.Metallic glass alloys, which have magnetic properties and are tougher and more flexible than traditional metal alloys, are used to make the core of electrical transformers and also to braze stainless steel.Hitachi Metals said in a statement that Metglass would complement its existing operations in soft magnetic materials."We forecast a large growth in demand from next generation hybrid cars and fuel cell batteries," the company said in a statement.

Honeywell, a diversified New-Jersey based company that makes everything from aircraft parts to antifreeze, has been hit hard by the recent downturn in commercial aviation, which has stunted demand for airplane brakes and other aerospace components.

In January the company said it was selling its plastics business to chemical giant BASF AG BASF.DE .

Hitachi Metals, a subsidiary of electronics giant Hitachi Ltd 6501.T , said in a statement that the deal would be completed within 60 days and have little impact on its earnings.

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