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Ansell buys Brazilian firm for $73.3m

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MELBOURNE, Dec 18 AAP

December 18 2012, 4:16PM

Gloves and condom maker Ansell has increased its exposure to Latin America's emerging markets by buying Brazilian military clothing company Hercules for $US77 million ($A73.31 million).

Private company Hercules - officially called Hercules Equipamentos de Protecao Ltda - manufactures personal protective equipment.

Ansell's chief executive Magnus Nicolin told reporters in a teleconference that the purchase fitted into the company's plans to invest aggressively in Latin America and sell clothing that "reduced injuries".

Ansell already sells clothing through Ansell Protective Solutions, following its acquisition of the renamed Swedish company Trelleborg Protective Products.

Hercules would be accretive in its first full year of operations including transaction and other costs, he said.

The acquisition is cash-free and debt-free, meaning Ansell will pay only for Hercules' value and not incur any debts or cash from it.

"It will specifically service construction, military, first responder, a bit of oil and gas and the opportunity to move further into utilities," Mr Nicolin said.

Hercules has about 350 employees with annual sales of about $US30 million ($A28.56 million), he said.

Ansell had flagged at its AGM in October that it was interested in acquisitions using a $200 million warchest.

Ansell shares closed 10 cents higher at $15.50.