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The Armstrong Bros. Tool Company began in 1890 as a maker of bicycle parts and service tools, founded in Chicago, Illinois by four brothers. Their first manufacturing operations were conducted literally from a backyard wooden shed, and the brothers also operated a retail store for their bicycle parts.

In 1895 Armstrong introduced what would become their first major product, a tool holder for lathe cutting bits. Developed from their own manufacturing operations, the Armstrong tool holder was a forged handle that accepted small interchangeable cutting bits, thereby replacing the individually forged cutting tools previously required. This dramatically reduced the time and expense involved in making lathe cutting tools, and it’s fair to say that these tool holders revolutionized the industry.

With the success of the tool holder, in 1900 Armstrong built their first real factory at 617 Austin Avenue in Chicago. This was replaced a few years later in 1905 by a 100,000 square foot brick factory at 317 North Francisco Avenue, a site they would occupy for many years.

Up until 1909 Armstrong concentrated primarily on tool holders and related products, but in 1909 they started producing a line of drop-forged wrenches. This line of tools continued to expand over the years.

By 1920 Armstrong was offering three sizes of “Aero” tappet wrenches made of chrome-nickel steel, an early example of alloy steel usage for tools. The notice at the left, published on page 748 of the November, 1920 issue of Railway Mechanical Engineer, announces Armstrong catalog B-20 and notes the inclusion of “Aero” tappets among the new products.

In 1948 the company moved from the Francisco Avenue site to 5200 West Armstrong Avenue, where they remain today. A second manufacturing facility in Fayetteville, Arkansas was added in 1974.

In 1994 Armstrong was acquired by the Danaher Group, a conglomerate with other tool company holdings including Allen, K-D, Matco, and Moore Drop Forging. Armstrong operates now as the Industrial Hand Tools division of Danaher.

APEX Tool Group will cease production of its Armstrong and Allen lines of hand tools, ending employment for 170 workers at its Sumter plant. The Armstrong lines of hand tools will end by March 31

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Stanley Black & Decker To Acquire Tools Business Of Newell Brands
– Enhances Stanley Black & Decker’s Strong Brand Portfolio With Addition Of Irwin® & Lenox® Brands;
– Increases Global Cross-Branding Opportunities For Tools & Storage Business;
– Acquisition Consistent With Stanley Black & Decker’s Growth Strategy;
– EPS Accretion, Excluding Charges, Of Approximately $0.15 Per Share Expected In Year One, Increasing To Approximately $0.50 Per Share By Year Three

NEW BRITAIN, Conn., Oct. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK), an S&P 500 global diversified industrial company, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Tools business of Newell Brands (“Newell Tools”), which includes the highly attractive industrial cutting, hand tool and power tool accessory brands Irwin® and Lenox®, for $1.95 billion in cash.

Newell Tools is an industry leader with an array of strong brands and products that are highly complementary to Stanley Black & Decker. With LTM revenues of approximately $760 million, and low to mid-single digit average sales growth since 2011, Newell Tools is well-positioned to enhance the offerings and broaden the reach of Stanley Black & Decker’s global tools and storage business. Newell Tools operates a global manufacturing footprint, maintains strong distribution relationships in its served markets, and has more than 2,500 employees around the world.

Stanley Black & Decker’s President and Chief Executive Officer, James M. Loree commented, “Newell Tools is an important step in our quest to further strengthen our presence in the global tools industry. The addition of the iconic Lenox® brand and very strong Irwin® brand, as well as their associated power tool accessory and hand tool products, opens up exciting new sources of global growth in similar ways, albeit on a smaller scale, to what Black + Decker did in recent years. Thus, the acquisition of Newell Tools, our first major acquisition since 2013, will provide both a source of inorganic growth in year one and an organic boost thereafter. SFS 2.0, our operating system, with its growth enhancing elements of digital excellence, commercial excellence and breakthrough innovation will also be deployed to rev up organic growth. This transaction, with our multi-faceted approach to revenue expansion, is entirely consistent with our strategy of driving above-market growth in a low growth world.”

Stanley Black & Decker expects the transaction to result in annual cost synergies of approximately $80 – $90 million by year three. The purchase price of $1.95 billion represents a LTM EBITDA multiple of approximately 13x (approximately 8x post-synergies). The acquisition is expected to be approximately $0.15 accretive to earnings per share (EPS) in year one post-closing (increasing to approximately $0.50 per share by year three), excluding approximately $125 to $140 million of restructuring and other deal related costs and approximately $40 million of non-cash inventory step-up charges, which in the aggregate will largely be incurred during years one and two. The Company expects to fund the acquisition with a combination of available cash and debt.

The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the first half of 2017.

The Company will host a conference call with investors today, Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 11:00 am EDT. A presentation which will accompany the call will be available at and will remain available after the call.

The call will be accessible by telephone at 1 (877) 930-8285 and from outside the U.S. at 1 (253) 336-8297 (Conference ID 96141607); also, via the Internet at To listen, please go to the web site at least fifteen minutes early to register, download and install any necessary audio software. A replay will also be available two hours after the call and can be accessed at (855) 859-2056 or (404) 537-3406 by entering the Conference identification number 96141607. The replay will also be available as a podcast within 24 hours and can be accessed on our website and via iTunes.

Stanley Black & Decker, an S&P 500 company, is a diversified global provider of hand tools, power tools and related accessories, mechanical access solutions and electronic security solutions, healthcare solutions, engineered fastening systems, and more. Learn more at

Newell Tools is a leader in the hand tools and power tool accessories space providing premium high-quality products to the tradesmen and professionals who build and maintain the world’s infrastructure. Learn more at

Introducing the first full polish Combination Reversible Ratcheting Wrenches from PROTO Tools. These industrial strength-ratcheting wrenches feature an I-Beam design offering increased surface area to improve comfort and reduce user fatigue. The patented wrench offset open end allows for 13 degrees of additional swing and features the PROTO anti slip design delivering four times the gripping power to help prevent fastener damage. Each wrench features a protective slip leaver that helps prevent accidental reversal as well as a compacted ratcheting wrench head for improved access in tight spaces.