NEW YORK (AP) – Manufacturing equipment maker Gerber Scientific Inc. said Monday it will sell itself to private equity firm Vector Capital Corp. for about $281.8 million.

The deal is valued at $11 per share, a 35 percent premium to Gerber’s closing price on Friday. It has been unanimously approved by the company’s board.

Shares of Gerber leaped $2.74, or 34 percent, to $10.86 in pre-market trading after the announcement. The stock’s year-high was $9.90.

The agreement allows Gerber to solicit alternative proposals through July 25. If the board doesn’t get a better offer, the
acquisition is expected to close later this year. It still requires shareholder approval.

Gerber is based in Tolland, Conn. It makes equipment used for signs, specialty graphics, apparel and optical lenses.

     (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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