BATESVILLE - Batesville-based Hillenbrand Inc. (NYSE: HI) has announced plans for a major acquisition. The manufacturer has entered into an agreement to acquire Cincinnati-based Milacron Holdings Corp. (NYSE: MCRN) in a $2 billion cash and stock deal. The acquisition has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

Milacron manufactures, distributes and services systems in the plastics technology and processing industry. Hillenbrand says the acquisition will enhance growth opportunities, increase scale and diversification of its businesses, and create and drive efficiencies within the company.

"This transaction meaningfully transforms our portfolio and product offering by adding Milacron's leading technology solutions and sizable installed customer base to help us drive long-term growth," said Joe Raver, chief executive officer of Hillenbrand. "Milacron aligns with our profitable growth strategy and acquisition framework and we expect the additional capabilities from its high-performing segments to accelerate free cash flow generation and improve margins across the business. I have great respect for Milacron's talented employees and look forward to welcoming them to Hillenbrand as we embark on this next step in our strategy and create enhanced value for our shareholders, customers, employees, and communities."

Per the terms of the agreement, Milacron stockholders will receive $11.80 in cash and 0.1612 shares of Hillenbrand common stock for each share of Milacron common stock they own. Once the acquisition closes, Hillenbrand stockholders will own 84 percent of the combined company, with Milacron stockholders owning 16 percent.

"After careful review, our Board unanimously concluded that a combination with Hillenbrand represents a unique opportunity to provide Milacron stockholders with significant and immediate value and the ability to benefit from the upside potential of the combined company," said Tom Goeke, chief executive officer of Milacron. "Hillenbrand has a tremendous track record of growing and driving value across its portfolio of highly engineered products. Together, we will continue to provide customers with breakthrough products and customized systems."

The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020. The deal remains subject to approval by Milacron stockholders, as well as regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.