Edwards Group Ltd., a leading developer and manufacturer of vacuum products, and Atlas Copco Group, the Sweden-based provider of industrial productivity solutions, announced that the companies have entered into a definitive merger agreement in a transaction valued at up to approximately $1.6 billion. Under the terms of the merger agreement, a subsidiary of Atlas Copco will acquire Edwards. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014. Upon completion of the transaction, a new Vacuum Solutions Division will be formed within the Atlas Copco Compressor Technique business area, with headquarters in Crawley, U.K.