Cooper Industries (CBE) and Danaher (DHR) revealed an agreement on Wednesday to sell their Apex Tool Group joint venture to private-equity firm Bain Capital for $1.6 billion.

Formed in 2010, Apex Tool Group is a 50/50 joint venture between Cooper and Danaher and sells more than 30 brands, including Armstrong, GearWrench and Crescent.

The Sparks, Maryland-based JV has more than 8,000 employees around the world, operates in 30 countries and generates annual sales of about $1.5 billion, according to its website.

Washington, D.C.-based Danaher said it expects the sale of its stake in Apex to generate after-tax net proceeds of about $650 million. Cooper didn’t disclose how much after-tax upside it will see from the deal.

Danaher and Cooper said they anticipate the transaction closing in the first half of next year, subject to regulatory approvals.

Shares of Ireland-based Cooper retreated 1.03% to $73.75 in premarket action on Wednesday, while Danaher’s shares gained 0.83% to $55.89.

Based in Boston and co-founded by GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Bain Capital is also reportedly among the private-equity firms exploring a potential buyout for office-supplies retailer Staples (SPLS).

Goldman Sachs (GS) served as the exclusive financial adviser to Apex Tool Group on the transaction.

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