Ecolab 4Q earnings soar, says Champion deal appears close

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St. Paul-based Ecolab, Inc. reported net income of $231.4 million in the fourth-quarter, up a staggering 161 percent from $88.7 million a year earlier, Twin Cities Business reports. Revenue for the quarter climbed 65 percent to a record $3.04 billion.

The Business Journal notes Ecolab's earnings surged largely due to its acquisition of Illinois-based water services giant Nalco Holding Company in 2011.

"Fourth quarter results were strong as our team performed very well in 2012's challenging environment, driving strong sales growth in otherwise mixed end markets and economies," CEO Douglas Baker said in a news release.

For the year, net income jumped 52 percent to $703.6 million, while revenue rose 74 percent to $11.8 billion, the Associated Press reports.

The Star Tribune says Ecolab is close to resolving antitrust concerns over its deal to acquire Champion Technologies. Ecolab agreed to buy the Texas-based chemical maker for roughly $2.2 billion last fall.

The company expects the tentative acquisition to close in the first quarter.

Click here, to follow Ecolab's stock performance.

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