Honeywell International Inc., Morris Township, N.J., has agreed to buy the British industrial holding company Novar plc for about $1.7 billion.

Novar plc, with reported 2003 revenue of $2.7 billion, is an international group whose core divisions are Intelligent Building Systems (IBS), Indalex Aluminum Solutions, and Security Printing Services. Novar's IBS unit will enhance Honeywell's offering of security, fire and building controls products and services, particularly in the United Kingdom and Germany, and support its strategy of global growth of these businesses.

Honeywell intends to integrate Novar's IBS unit, which had 2003 revenue of $1.2 billion, into its Automation and Control Solutions (ACS) division. Novar IBS is a global business supplying electrical, electronic and control products and services to building operators, contractors and developers worldwide.

Honeywell ACS has an approximately $8 billion in annual sales and more than 40,000 employees worldwide.

“This acquisition is an excellent opportunity to further expand our Automation and Control Solutions business,” said David M. Cote, Honeywell chairman and CEO.

Honeywell said the Novar board has agreed to the terms of its offer and will recommend it to Novar shareholders.