This issue of MDM’s February Premium Monthly comes on the heels of our 2023 Virtual M&A Summit, which spanned four hours on both Feb. 22 and Feb. 23. It was fantastic (and a lot of work) to have more than 30 speakers with expertise in M&A — including plenty of distributors heavily involved in dealmaking, investment banks, industry consultants and more — convene to address M&A from every angle we could think of. I think that assortment of different perspectives provided great value to our attendees, who can now access any of our Summit sessions on-demand. (Click here to download MDM’s February issue of Premium Monthly.)
While we here at MDM post news briefs of M&A announcements all the time — a combined 520 such items in 2021 and 2022, followed by 48 deals reported on in January and 29 in February — we also like to take deeper dives on certain deals and go beyond what was shared in press releases. Associate Editor Brad Star did just that a Feb. 17 piece that went behind Field Fastener’s merger with Mid-State Bolt & Nut, based on my chat with Field Fastener CEO Jim Derry at the NAW Executive Summit at the start of the month. Expect to see more ‘Behind the Deal’ pieces going forward.
In a two-part series (Part 1; Part 2), contributor John Johnson explored the topics of nearshoring, onshoring and reshoring and how they’ve gained traction in the industrial manufacturing space post-2020, as well as what distributors should be watching in that trend. Given the supply chain chaos of the past three years, it will be fascinating to watch if and how production moves closer to manufacturers’ customer base, and if so, how that impacts distributors’ sourcing.
Throughout January and February, one of the most noticeable and welcome trends was a notion of less economic fear and anxiety concerning a slowdown in industrial demand that we’ve all been hearing about for about a year now. Newer projections suggest a slowdown is still coming, but not until the end of this year, and perhaps more shallow when it arrives than previously thought. I dove into that in a recap of Alan Beaulieu’s NAW Executive Summit closing keynote. Financial figures and commentary in publicly-traded distributors and manufacturers’ latest quarterly earnings reports supports this, as Associate Editor Mark Powell discussed in a Feb. 27 piece.
Elsewhere in February, we recapped the final (preliminary) 2022 revenue figures and expectations for the entire distribution sector, and the results of our 4Q22 Baird-MDM Industrial Distribution Survey question asking if distributors that saw customers flee during the height of supply chain snarls are now seeing those customers return.