GLENVIEW, IL-Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW) has signed an agreement with Kirtland Capital Partners to purchase Instron Corp., a leading worldwide supplier of instruments, software and services for the testing of materials and structures. Terms of the pending transaction were not disclosed.

Based in Norwood, MA, Instron has manufacturing facilities and technical centers in 13 countries throughout North America, Europe and Asia. The company's products are grouped in three major categories: material testing, structural testing and service. In total, the company's revenues are projected to be approximately $240 million in 2005.

"With an installed base of more than 70,000 instruments worldwide, Instron's brand name is highly valued and recognized as a leader in material testing," says David B. Speer, ITW president and CEO. "We also are excited about the company's long-term growth potential and geographic span, with revenues almost evenly spread across the Americas, Europe and Asia."

Instron was founded in 1946 and was taken private through a sale to Kirtland Capital Partners in 1999. The transaction, which has received U.S. regulatory approval but still requires European regulatory approval, was expected to close by the end of October.

ITW, with $11.7 billion in revenues, is a diversified manufacturer of highly engineered components and industrial systems. The company consists of approximately 650 decentralized operations in 45 countries and employs approximately 49,000 people.