3M Co. will sell its fiber optics and copper connectivity business to Corning Inc. for $900 million, company officials announced Monday.
The Maplewood-based giant said its Communications Markets Division, which caters to the telecommunications industry, generates about $400 million in annual revenue but is no longer seen as a core business.
"After completing a thorough strategic review, we believe that this business will be well positioned with Corning," said Ashish Khandpur, 3M's executive vice president of electronics and energy, thanking employees for "their outstanding contribution."
If the deal receives the necessary regulatory approvals, it will close sometime next year, and the unit's 500 workers will become Corning employees. 3M expects to realize a gain of about 40 cents a share from the transaction, net of actions related to the divestiture, officials said.
Goldman Sachs & Co. assisted and advised 3M with the planned divestiture.
3M's unit sale is the latest of several in recent years.
In October, 3M sold its prisoner electronic-monitoring business to the private equity advisory firm Apax Partners for $200 million.
In May, Dutch company Gemalto bought 3M's identity management business that is behind most U.S. passport readers for $850 million.
In the past two years, 3M also sold its $20 million pressurized foam adhesives business, its French license plate making business and its $100 million library systems unit.
3M's division divestitures have helped pay for some of 3M's sizable acquisitions.
In October, 3M completed a $2 billion purchase of Scott Safety from Johnson Controls. That deal followed 3M's largest purchase to date, the $2.5 billion acquisition of Capital Safety in 2015.
3M CEO Inge Thulin has said previously that the maker of Scotch tape, Post-it notes, respirators and hearing protection headsets is constantly re-evaluating its portfolio to ensure it is well-positioned in high-growth areas and exiting areas that no longer have the potential to boost margins or markets.
3M's stock rose $1.17 Monday to close at $239.30. In recent weeks, the stock has been trading close to its 52-week high of $244 a share.