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Industry players are trying to pick up the original pieces of Integra Integrated Procurement Solutions, Northbrook, IL, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Mar. 12, and retain some of the value left in inventory, individual branches and customer relationships. The bankruptcy court approved an offer by Precision Industries, Omaha, NE, to purchase pieces of the Ross-Willoughby operations in Ohio and North Carolina prior to a scheduled auction on Apr. 17 of Integra's assets, according to William Kohn, an attorney for Integra in its Ch. 11 proceedings.
Independent offers submitted by Indusco Group, Baltimore, MD, to buy certain assets of the Rubber World operations of J. Fegely & Sons, as well as an offer by a new investment group, including some current management, to purchase the Sanders Tools operations in Illinois, were reviewed by the court, but the assets involved will be included in the Apr. 17 auction. See article on p. 4.

Strategic Distribution, Inc., Bensalem, PA, has agreed with Kraft Foods North America to terminate the industrial supply services agreement in place since 1997. SDI's 2001 Kraft revenues were $86.1 million and accounts receivable and inventory related to the Kraft supply agreement were $12.2 million and $21.4 million respectively, at Dec. 31, 2001. SDI reported 2001 revenues of $319.6 million, compared to $355.5 million reported in 2000. See article on p. 5.

Pentacon, Inc., Chatsworth, CA, a distributor of fasteners and other small parts and provider of related inventory management services, is restructuring its debt and taking large year-end charges in an effort to stabilize its balance sheet and avoid Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing. Pentacon formed as a roll-up of five founding fastener distributors in 1998, and made several subsequent acquisitions. See article on p. 5.

February U.S. machine tool consumption totaled $193.84 million, up 24.9% from $155.16 million in January, according to the American Machine Tool Distributors' Associationᅠand the Associationᅠfor Manufacturing Technology. February demand was down 14% from $225.52 million a year ago. Demand in the first two months of the year totaled $349.00 million, down 26.8% from $476.52 million in the same 2001 period.

The Timken Company and NSK Ltd. have agreed to form a joint venture to build a plant near Shanghai, China to manufacture certain tapered roller bearing product lines. Construction of the plant is to begin later in 2002, and production is scheduled to start early in 2004. Ownership of the joint venture, Timken-NSK Bearings (Suzhou) Co. Ltd., will be divided evenly between Timken and NSK. See article on p. 6.

Canadian building products wholesaler Emco Limited, London, ON, has signed a purchase and sale agreement to acquire the wholesale waterworks supply business of bcgSERVICES Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of BC Gas Inc. bcgServices is currently comprised of two divisions: the wholesale waterworks supply business and the waterworks services business, both carrying on business in Alberta and British Columbia. Emco will purchase the wholesale waterworks supply business, while BC Gas will continue to own and operate the waterworks services business.

The Fastenal Company, Winona, MN, reported net sales for the three-month period ended Mar. 31 totaled $214.6 million, up 5.5% over the $203.4 million in the first quarter of 2001. Net earnings decreased from $20.7 million in the first quarter of 2001 to $17.7 million in the first quarter of 2002, a decrease of 14.6%. Fastenal opened 24 new sites, bringing the total number of sites to 1,049. There were 4,411 site employees as of Mar. 31, an increase of 3.5% from Dec. 31, 2001.

MSC Industrial Direct Co., Melville, NY, reported net sales for its second quarter

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