April 2022 M&A Roundup: Distribution Activity Ramps Up to Start 2Q - Modern Distribution Management

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April 2022 M&A Roundup: Distribution Activity Ramps Up to Start 2Q

The number of mergers and acquisitions in distribution/manufacturing climbed in April after plateauing during the first three months of 2022.
While distributors still face major challenges from supply chain backlogs, labor and pricing strategies, the economy seemed to be the biggest topic of concern as we passed the midpoint of 2022.

M&A activity in the distribution and manufacturing sectors ticked upward in April. The increase in agreements comes on the heels of a relatively slow period for M&A, which followed a rapid rise in activity during the fourth quarter of 2021. Some distributors who reported record sales and profits to start 2022 cited acquisitions from last year as drivers for sustained growth. In time, we’ll see which moves from 1Q and 2Q of this year end up driving profits for companies down the road.

Among the April highlights, Border States agreed to purchase Advance Electrical Supply Co., while BradyIFS expanded its growth opportunities by acquiring Associated Paper. Cleveland-based specialized materials provider Avient secured an agreement to acquire DSM Protective Materials for nearly $1.5 billion. In Chicago, industrial technology manufacturer Littlefuse acquired two companies, including one valued at more than $500 million. These were among the dozens of deals struck during the month.

April M&A

Here are the M&A announcements — primarily involving distributors but also manufacturers that sell through the channel — MDM covered during April (click the headline for more details):

  • Avient to Acquire DSM for $1.485B — Avient, a Cleveland, Ohio-based provider of specialized and sustainable material solutions, reached a deal with Royal DSM to purchase DSM Protective Materials for $1.485 billion.
  • Blue Point, Brimar Acquire Crowd Control — Blue Point Capital Partners and its BPCP IV portfolio company, Brimar Industries, acquired Crowd Control Warehouse, a designer and distributor of crowd-control, traffic and safety products.
  • Border States Acquires Advance Electrical — Fargo, North Dakota-based supply chain solutions company Border States will purchase Advance Electrical Supply Co., a Chicago-based electrical wholesale supply leader.
  • BradyIFS Acquires Associated Paper, Inc. — Foodservice and JanSan distributor BradyIFS acquired Associated Paper, Inc., a distributor serving Atlanta, central Georgia and Alabama.
  • Building Controls & Solutions Continues Trend by Acquiring Activelogix — Dallas-based Building Controls & Solutions last month acquired Activelogix LLC, a provider of IoT and enterprise automation solutions for building intelligence based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • Core & Main to Acquire Lock City Supply — St. Louis-based Core & Main, Inc. (NYSE: CNM) agreed to acquire the assets of Lock City Supply Inc., a distributor of water and wastewater products based in New York.
  • Descartes Acquires Foxtrot for $4M — Descartes Systems Group Inc., (TSX:DSG) (Nasdaq:DSGX) of Waterloo, Ontario, acquired Foxtrot, a leading provider of machine learning-based mobile route execution solutions based in San Francisco.
  • Echelon Acquires Berg-Nelson Company — Echelon Supply and Service — backed by HCI Equity Partners —acquired Berg-Nelson Company at the end of March, the company announced.
  • Endries Acquires Old Dominion Fasteners — Wisconsin-based fastener distributor Endries International, Inc. has acquired assets of Old Dominion Fasteners, Inc.
  • Ewing Acquires Hageman Earth Cycle — Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply, the nation’s largest family-owned wholesale distributor of landscape and water management products, acquired Northern Colorado-based Hageman Earth Cycle.
  • FleetPride Acquires Murray’s Diesel Repair — Irving, Texas-based FleetPride Inc., a distributor of truck and trailer parts and service in the independent heavy-duty aftermarket, has acquired Shreveport, Louisiana-based Murray’s Diesel Repair.
  • GPC Makes European Automotive Acquisition — Genuine Parts Company (NYSE: GPC) says that Alliance Automotive Group, the company’s wholly-owned automotive distribution company based in London, acquired Lausan, a leading distributor of automotive aftermarket parts in Spain and Portugal.
  • Inline Electric Acquires Williams — Huntsville, Alabama-based Inline Electric Supply Co. Inc. and Williams Electric Supply reached a deal that will allow Inline to acquire Williams and create a fully employee-owned company.
  • L&W Supply Acquires DWS — Chicago-based building materials and specialty products distributor L&W Supply acquired the assets of DWS Building Supply with two locations in El Paso, Texas and one in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
  • Littelfuse Makes 2 Acquisitions — Chicago-based industrial technology manufacturing company Littelfuse recently announced two recent acquisitions: Embed, Ltd. and C&K Switches, the latter being valued at more than $500 million.
  • MHS Global, Fortna to Combine — MHS Global, a provider of material handling automation technology and systems integration, and Fortna, software and solutions provider for warehouse and distribution, are combining to form a single e-commerce and logistics company.
  • New South to Acquire American Contractors Supply — Greenville, South Carolina-based New South Construction Supply, LLC — a distributor of construction products to commercial and residential general contractors and subcontractors — will acquire American Contractors Supply, distributor and supplier of tilt-up products based in Atlanta.
  • Parts Town Acquires Encompass — OEM parts and technology distributor Parts Town acquired Encompass Supply Chain Solutions, a leading national distributor of OEM repair parts for the home.
  • SRS Acquires Florence, Amagansett in NY — McKinney, Texas-based building products distributor SRS Distribution Inc. acquired New York entity Florence Corporation and Amagansett Building Materials.
  • TricorBraun to Acquire Packaging Company PBFY — TricorBraun entered into an agreement to acquire PBFY, a flexible packaging distributors in North America, from retail and promotional packaging supplier Pacific Western Sales.
  • US LBM Acquires Crown Components — Building materials distributor US LBM acquired Crown Components, a manufacturer and supplier of structural roof and floor trusses in the Phoenix area.
  • Winsupply Purchases Williams Wholesale — Dayton, Ohio-based distributor Winsupply Inc. completed its acquisition of all three Williams Wholesale Supply locations in Tennessee.

Did we miss anything? Please send M&A announcements to editor@mdm.com. We also welcome suggestions for “Behind the Deal,” our occasional series that takes a deep dive into market-shifting moves in wholesale distribution.

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