BOC Edwards, Crawley, UK, entered into an agreement to purchase the vacuum and pressure interests of Smiths Group. The business to be acquired, which is part of Smiths' Sealing Solutions Division, is comprised of Stokes Vacuum (U.S.), Hick Hargreaves (UK), Hibon (France, Canada, Belgium) and Wilhelm Klein (Germany). The deal is expected to be complete by the end of November 2001, subject to regulatory approval and will add more than $75 million to the annual sales revenue of BOC Edwards. Smiths' vacuum and pressure companies employ 700 people in the UK, U.S., France, Germany, Canada and Czech Republic. Principal products include piston vacuum pumps, liquid ring pumps, pressure blowers and steam ejectors.