3M is selling its Static Control business which operates a manufacturing plant in Sanford. 3M says “substantially all” of the Static Control groups “are expected to transfer” to buyer Desco Industries.

The plant currently has 125 3M employees plus 50 contractors, according to 3M spokesperson Jocelyn Parker.

“They are all going to transfer to Desco,” Parker told WRAL in a phone interview.

But when asked about the long-term future of the plant, Parker referred the question to Desco.

The deal was announced early Monday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Static Control business focuses on technology and products to help prevent, detect and protect against electrostatic discharges.

Desco’s primary focus is the electrostatic discharge industry, or ESD.

According to a 2012 Lee County manufacturing report, 3M employed 235 people at the Sanford plant.

The entire ESD group employs approximately 150 people worldwide directly for 3M, according to the announcement. 

“With more than 30 years in the ESD control industry, Desco is excited by the opportunity to add 3M’s Static Control business to our company. As we look to expand our footprint in the growing ESD industry, Desco intends to continue developing and marketing high-quality ESD control solutions,” said John Brake, chief executive officer of Desco, in a statement. “We plan to work with 3M to facilitate a smooth transition of the business for customers and employees.”

3M said its ESD business produces some $45 million in annual revenues. 

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015. 

“A key to 3M’s long-term success is active portfolio management. As the result of a thorough strategic review, we have made the decision to exit the Static Control business and sell to Desco, a company fully focused on the Static Control industry and its evolving customer needs,” said Herve Gindre, general manager of 3M Electronics Materials Solutions Division.

Desco, which is privately held, is based in Chino, Calif.