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Oilfield services firm National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NOV - Analyst Report) has passed a key milestone on its way to acquiring industrial parts maker Ameron International Corp. for about $772 million in cash with the termination of a necessary waiting period under U.S. antitrust rules.

National Oilwell and Ameron have been told by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission that the waiting period required under the American Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 has ended, allowing the transaction between the two companies to proceed.

Per the deal, Ameron shareholders would get $85 in cash for each share they hold. Based on Ameron’s July 1, 2011’s closing stock price of $66.27, the deal values the company at a 28% premium.

Pasadena, California-based Ameron is a leading multinational producer of highly-engineered products and materials catering to the chemical, industrial, energy, transportation and infrastructure markets. In particular, Ameron is a leading manufacturer of fiberglass-composite pipe for transporting oil, chemicals and corrosive fluids and specialized materials and products used in infrastructure projects.

The acquisition will allow National Oilwell Varco to broaden the scale and scope of the solutions it offers to oil and gas customers worldwide. Post merger, National Oilwell Varco expects Ameron's products (particularly the fiberglass-composite pipe producing operation) to benefit its oilfield pipeline business through efficiencies and economies of scale.

The transaction, which is still subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Houston, Texas-based National Oilwell Varco, formerly National Oilwell, is a world leader in the design, manufacture and sale of comprehensive systems, components, products and equipment used in oil and gas drilling and production worldwide.

The company reached its current form following the March 2005 merger between National Oilwell and Varco International. National Oilwell Varco organizes its operations in three business segments: Rig Technology, Petroleum Services & Supplies, and Distribution Services.

National Oilwell Varco shares currently retain a Zacks #1 Rank, which translates into a short-term Strong Buy rating. We are also maintaining our long-term Outperform recommendation on the stock.

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