Tomkins Extends Global Reach With Gates Purchase: The British conglomerate said it has agreed to pay $1.16 billion for privately owned U.S. auto parts maker Gates Corp., inventor of the automobile fan belt in 1917. Tomkins said the deal is expected to close in late spring. Denver-based Gates, a supplier of auto transmission belts and hoses to the automotive industry worldwide, will add annual sales of at least $1.4 billion to Tomkins’ revenue of $5.6 billion in fiscal 1995. Tomkins said earlier this month that Gates, which has a global network of factories, would become a platform for international expansion and product development. Tomkins is one of Britain’s most diversified manufacturers, with products ranging from foodstuffs to garden to leisure items. It said the transaction is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.