Perelman Buying John Harland Co.

ATLANTA—Check printing specialist John H. Harland Co. has agreed to be acquired by M&F Worldwide, the holding company controlled by billionaire Ron Perelman, for $1.7 billion, or $52.75 per share.

Harland will become a wholly owned subsidiary of M&F Worldwide upon completion of the deal, which is expected in the second half of 2007. The deal also needs to be approved by Harland shareholders.

M&F Worldwide is the parent company of Clarke American, another major player in the check printing space. Between the two, M&F Worldwide will boast a majority of the check printing business.

“This makes a lot of sense for someone who wants to milk the cash flow from this business as this industry declines,” John Kraft, an analyst at D.A. Davidson & Co., told Bloomberg.com. “(Perelman) obviously liked what Clarke was doing. If one is good, then maybe two is better.”

Timothy Tuff, chairman and CEO of Harland, feels that combining the resources of the two companies will provide value to customers and shareholders of both firms.

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