Lincoln Electric signs letter of intent to acquire brazing and soldering alloys manufacturer.

CLEVELAND - Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. has signed a letter of intent to acquire all outstanding stock of the J.W. Harris Co. Inc., a privately held brazing and soldering alloys manufacturer based in Mason, Ohio. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2005. Terms were not disclosed.

"The acquisition of Harris will establish Lincoln as a leader in a complementary metals-joining technology and will also expand our global product offerings sold through Lincoln's worldwide sales and distribution network," said John M. Stropki, Lincoln Electric chairman and CEO.

Founded in 1914, J.W. Harris has 335 employees at manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Rhode Island and Mexico. It also has an international distribution center in Spain. Sales for the fiscal year ended Sept. 24, 2004, were approximately $100 million.