$800 million sale of Crane Currency complete

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DALTON — One of Berkshire County's oldest and largest employers is officially under new ownership for the first time in its 217-year history.

Crane Currency's $800 million sale to Crane Co., a Connecticut-based diversified manufacturer of highly engineered industrial products, was finalized on Wednesday, company spokesman Craig Conrad said. The two companies share the same name, but are not related. Crane Currency has 350 employees in the Berkshires

The transaction was announced in December, but was subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions that were finalized on Wednesday, which was the targeted closing date.

With the sale finalized, Annemarie Watson has officially replaced Stephen DeFalco as Crane Currency's president and CEO. Watson formerly headed Crane's international division.

Founded in 1801 in Dalton, Crane Currency has sold currency paper to the federal government since 1879, and has been its sole supplier since 1964.

The firm will remain as a standalone company operating out of Crane Co.'s payment and merchandising technologies business segment, Conrad said. Crane Co.'s payments division has worked with Crane Currency in the past. Crane Co. will provide more information about the acquisition on Jan. 29 in connection with its fourth quarter earnings release, and on March 1 during its annual investor day conference.

Last month, DeFalco said Crane Currency firm would "absolutely" keep its currency-making operations in Berkshire County and expects to keep adding employees here.

Crane Currency more recently has become a pioneer in micro-optic security technology and a fully integrated supplier of secure, highly engineered bank notes for central banks across the world. In November, the National Bank of Kyrgyzystan released the first banknote containing Crane's anti-counterfeiting motion surface technology.

The company has 1,100 employees worldwide, sales in 50 countries, and a plant in Sweden, along with other domestic operations in Georgia and New Hampshire. It is currently building a second plant for its international operation on the island nation of Malta. Crane Currency's projected sales for 2017 are $500 million.

Crane Co., headquartered in Stamford, Conn., was originally established as a foundry-based business in Chicago in 1855. It has four business segments and 11,000 employees at 150 locations in 26 countries. The firm provides products and solutions to customers in the hydrocarbon processing. petrochemical, chemical, power generation, unattended payment, automated merchandising, aerospace, electronics, transportation and other markets.

"We are extremely pleased to add Crane Currency to our payment & merchandising technologies business," said Crane Co. President and CEO Max Mitchell in a statement. "Crane Currency is the fastest growing, fully integrated global currency provider in the global banknote supply and security industry, and it is an excellent firm to complement our expanding presence in the currency and payment markets.

"We believe that the combined business will be stronger together, offering end-to-end currency and security solutions, from subtstrate manufacturing and banknote design and printing to micro-optics and banknote validation."

Business Editor Tony Dobrowolski can be reached at tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6224.


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