The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Day: June 19, 2009

Grainger: Plans to Acquire 53% of Japanese Joint Venture

Chicago, IL-based Grainger, broad line distributor of facilities maintenance products, said it plans to become a 53% majority owner of MonotaRO, a direct marketer of MRO supplies in Japan. Grainger expects to invest $4 million through a tender offer bid process later this summer.

MonotaRO started as a joint venture between Grainger and Sumitomo Corp. in 2000. The business offers more than 110,000 products to more than 320,000 customers. In 2008, MonotaRO had revenues of $136 million and operating earnings of $11 million.

Grainger CEO Jim Ryan says that Grainger estimates the Japanese MRO market at $50 billion. "This increased investment, along with our recent acquisition of Asia Pacific ...

The Impact of the Housing Boom – and Bust – on Consumption Spending

An article in BusinessWeek reminds everyone that markets are local - as most independent distributors know very well. It points out: "You'll know we're back to an ordinary, boring real estate market when buyers focus less on the intricacies of foreclosures, short sales and the like and go back to the things that used to matter most: What are the schools like? How quiet is the neighborhood? When am I going to have to replace that roof or cut down that diseased oak?" Demographics shifts, employment growth and so on drive local housing markets because after all, "there is no such place as National Median, U.S.A.," the article says.

In related housing news, ...