3M Co. announced Friday that it has received the final antitrust clearance needed from several nations, including the United States, to proceed with its planned acquisition of ceramics product maker Ceradyne Inc.

3M will pay $35 a share, or about $860 million, for the California-based company that specializes in ceramics aimed at the automotive and military sectors.

To date, 3M has clearance approval from authorities in Austria, Germany and the United States.

Ceradyne, which has 2,100 employees and about $500 million in annual sales, is expected to broaden 3M's ceramics capabilities. 3M currently specializes in ceramics used in paints, dental products, automotive and windmill applications.

The acquisition could close before the end of the year.

Analysts generally have favored the idea of 3M buying Ceradyne.

In a recent research note, Langenberg & Co. analyst Brian Langenberg said he likes that the acquisition complements 3M's existing ceramics portfolio and thinks 3M got a fair price. "We've taken a good look at the metrics, and this strikes us as an excellent transaction for 3M, which gets technology, scale and new customers in a core competency," he wrote.

Dee DePass • 612-673-7725