Compiled By Tonya Vinas Canton, Ohio-based manufacturer The Timken Co. says it will become the world's third-largest bearings maker once its purchase of an Ingersoll-Rand operation clears regulatory hurdles. Timken announced this week it is purchasing the Torrington division of Ingersoll-Rand. The division, based in Torrington, Conn., had sales of $1.1 billion in 2001 and expands Timken's portfolio in terms of product and operations. Each company has been making bearings and other products for more than 100 years, but Torrington makes needle bearings while Timken's strength is tapered roller bearings and precision steel components. In addition, Timken gains a wider presence in Europe, Asia and Latin America with the purchase. The division has 10,500 employees worldwide, with 27 plants and more than 50 offices. The Timken Co. operates in 24 countries and employs about 18,000 people. On Oct. 16 The Timken Co. announced a third-quarter loss of $10.9 million versus a loss of $30.5 million for the same period last year. The company's sales grew 9% during the third quarter of 2003.