Automated manufacturing systems provider Gerber Scientific (GRB) is selling itself to private equity company Vector Capital for $281.8 million in cash.

Under the terms of the deal, Gerber shareholders will receive $11 a share in cash, representing a 35% premium to its closing price on Friday. Each shareholder will also receive a non-transferable right to receive contingent cash payments at future times.

After thorough assessment, Gerber, which makes automated systems for the printing, apparel and eyeglass industries, said its board unanimously adopted the merger agreement.

Donald Aiken, Gerbers chairman, called the merger a very positive development for the company's shareholders, employees and business partners. 

We believe that (Vector's) technology expertise and financial resources will enable us to continue to provide superior products and service to our customers worldwide, while growing our global footprint, he said in a statement.

Gerber said it will actively solicit other proposals through July 25, as per the agreement.

If no superior offer emerges, the transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2011, subject to customary approvals, closing conditions and approval by a majority of Gerbers outstanding shares.

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