January M&A Roundup: A Strong Start to 2024 - Modern Distribution Management

Log In

January M&A Roundup: A Strong Start to 2024

Plenty of big-name distributors were involved in MDM's M&A news coverage during January.

While it didn’t match the perhaps record-breaking level of a year earlier, January was a another strong month for merger & acquisition activity in across the industrial, commercial and building supplies distribution landscape.

MDM covered 37 different news announcements of M&A involving distributors, as well as manufacturers that sell into the channel. The vast majority — 28 — involved distributors.

Feb. 15 MDM Webcast: What to Expect When You’re Selling Your Business – Register Here

While that three dozen figure considerably trails the 50 we covered in January 2023, it nonetheless was above the industry’s past decade monthly average and shows that we’re likely in for another healthy year of dealmaking activity, as suggested in our MDM Podcast from mid-January:

Big-name distributors highlighted the slate of January moves, including a trio of deals by Ferguson. Other MDM Top Distributors involved included MSC Industrial Supply, Distribution Solutions Group, Motion & Control Enterprises, Bridgestone HosePower, Hillman Solutions Group, Singer Industrial, Core & Main, Border States, Foundation Building Materials and Kodiak Building Partners.

Find our rundown of December M&A news below, mostly in reverse chronological order and separated by distributors and manufacturers.

Distributors (29)

CD&R Buys “Significant” Stake in Foundation Building Materials: Clayton, Dubilier & Rice — the private investment firm behind numerous major acquisitions in the distribution sector over the past decade — has purchased a “significant” ownership position in Foundation Building Materials (Santa Ana, CA) from fellow private equity firm American Securities, which will continue to own a majority stake in FBM.

Ferguson Starts 2024 with 3 Acquisitions: Plumbing and industrial supplies distribution giant Ferguson will acquire at least three more distributors in the first half of the year after adding eight in 2023. On Jan. 8, Ferguson closed on the acquisition of Austin, TX-based appliance distributor Harway Appliances, and signed definitive purchase agreements to acquire two plumbing and HVAC distributors: Toronto-based Yorkwest Plumbing Supply and Warminster, PA-based Grove Supply.

MSC Acquires KAR Industrial in Canada: Metalworking and MRO supplies distributor MSC Industrial Supply continued its expansion by acquiring KAR Industrial, a metalworking distributor providing measuring and cutting tools, machine tool accessories and other manufacturing supplies across Canada’s industrial landscape. Based in Mississauga, Ontario an in business since 1954, KAR also has locations in Montreal and Edmonton. The company has positioned itself as a master distributor serving distributors throughout Canada.

DSG’s Lawson Products Acquires Emergent Safety Supply: Distribution Solutions Group subsidiary Lawson Products acquired Safety Supply Illinois, which does business as Emergent Safety Supply (ESS) and is a national distributor of safety and JanSan products based in the Chicago suburb of Batavia, IL. According to DSG, ESS generates annual sales of about $13 million and is expected to be accredited to DSG’s adjusted EBITDA margins.

MCE Acquires Piedmont Electric Motor Repair: Following a busy 2023, Motion & Control Enterprises (Zelienople, PA) continued its expansion into 2024 with the acquisition of Piedmont Electric Motor Repair, Inc. Founded in 1971 and based in Asheboro, NC, Piedmont offers a broad range of industrial products and services, including electric motors, cranes, material handling, fabrication/welding and machinery services.  The company serves industrial and commercial customers across diverse end markets.

Mallory Expands Mountain Presence with 2 Acquisitions: Industrial safety supplies distributor Mallory Safety and Supply has expanded its presence in the Mountain States through the acquisition of safety and industrial products distributor Rocky Mountain Industrial Supply (Casper, WY) and safety equipment distributor Safety Station (Colorado Springs, CO).

TricorBraun Acquires Plas-Pak WA in Australia: TricorBraun has added plastic packaging distributor and manufacturer Plas-Pak WA based in Perth, Australia. The acquisition extends the packaging distributor’s Australian footprint to Western Australia.

Bridgestone HosePower Acquires Cline Hose in S. Carolina: Bridgestone HosePower furthered its expansion of hydraulic and industrial hose solutions with the acquisition of Greenville, SC-based distributor Cline Hose & Hydraulics on Dec. 29, 2023. Cline is a family-owned distributor servicing hose, fittings, adapter and coupling OEMs since 1948. The company has two retail locations in Greenville and Augusta, Georgia, along with a fleet of mobile service trucks servicing customer throughout the Southeast U.S.

Hillman Adds Ropes & Chains, Acquires Koch Industries: Fasteners and industrial hardware distributor and retailer Hillman Solutions has added a new product category with the acquisition of Koch Industries, a provider and merchandiser of rope and twine, chain and wire rope, and related hardware products. Koch — co-owned by co-CEO’s Randy and Dave Koch — has 2,300 SKUs in the rope and chain and associated hardware category, which will be added to Hillman’s existing 112,000 SKU-portfolio

Border States to Acquire Winston Engineering: Electrical supplies distributor Border States (Fargo, ND) is set to boost its services offering in the form of a pending acquisition of Winston Engineering. The deal is set to close on March 1. Based in Hollywood, CA and licensed in 13 states, Winston provides professional mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) engineering services for residential, commercial, educational and governmental needs.

Palmer Johnson Acquires Continental Engines in SC: Palmer Johnson Enterprises — the parent company to a group of off-highway equipment sales and service providers, including distributor Palmer Johnson Power Systems (Sun Prairie, WI) — acquired Greenville, SC-based Continental Engines, a distributor specializing in diesel engines and generators. Continental Engines will continue to operate and support all of its current portfolio of distribution.

Core & Main to Add Drainage Distributor Eastern Supply: Infrastructure supplies distributor Core & Main reached an agreement to acquire Winchester, VA-based Eastern Supply Inc. — a distributor of a broad range of storm drainage products and custom fabrication provider, and a related entity. Besides Winchester, Eastern Supply has a secondary location in Greencastle, PA.

Ficodis’ Intercity Industrial Adds SDI Supplies in Canada: SDI Supplies is an industrial distributor which operates from multiple branches across Ontario, including Toronto, Sudbury, Ottawa, Scarborough, Cambridge, Hamilton and Windsor. ISS and SDI Supplies are members of the Ficodis Canada network, a multi-specialized industrial supply network with a presence across 43 locations in Canada and the Northeast USA. Ficodis Canada is also part of Descours & Cabaud.

Thermal Technology Distribution Solutions Acquires Proheat: TTDS, a distribution platform owned by Gryphon Investors, acquired Proheat, a La Grange, KY-based distributor of heaters, sensors, controls, and comprehensive technical support to manufacturers.

Plumbing & HVAC Distributor Plimpton & Hills Privately Acquired: Private equity firm Green Mountain Partners (Atlanta, GA) acquired a majority stake in Plimpton & Hills, a 125-year-old, family-owned distributor of plumbing and HVAC equipment based in Meriden, CT. Plimpton & Hills services the greater U.S. northeast, with more than 20 locations across Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York.

TricorBraun Acquires Glass Packaging Supplier in Germany: Packaging supplies distributor TricorBraun acquired German-based glass packaging provider Glassland. Financial terms were not disclosed.The acquisition grows the German footprint of TricorBraun’s premium glass packaging business, Vetroelite, while broadening TricorBraun’s European presence. After a transition period, Glassland will fully integrate with Vetroelite.

Valin Corp. Acquires Ad Tech Seal: Valin (San Jose, CA) — a distributor of automation, fluid management, precision management, process heating and filtration products — acquired Brea, CA-based Ad Tech Seal, marking Valin’s first acquisition since being acquired by electrical products distributor Graybar on May 1, 2023. Founded in 1976, Ad Tech Seal specializes in a wide range of sealing products and O-rings, alongside providing customers with consulting and design services. The company is an authorized distributor of Parker seals, including a dedicated Parker O-Ring Division.

Foundation Building Materials Adds Distributors in Ohio, Hawaii: FBM (Santa Ana, CA) began 2024 with a pair of acquisitions in different building supply verticals. FBM acquired Monroe, OH-based Stucco Master Supply — a distributor of exterior insulation and finishing system (EIFS) and stone products in the Dayton-Cincinnati tri-state area. FBM also acquired Tradewind Hawaii, Inc. — a distributor of luxury windows, doors, appliances and accessories. FBM acquired Tradewind’s inventory and showroom assets, while its windows business will join FBM’s Pacific Source Branch that exclusively serves Hawaii from its Kailua-Kona, Big Island location.

Anderson Process Acquires Rep Agency Tighe-Zeman: Brookfield, WI-based fluid process equipment distributor Anderson Process acquired long-standing manufacturer’s representative Tighe-Zeman Equipment. Since 1952, Tighe-Zeman Equipment has specialized in the representation of mixers, pumps, tanks and engineered systems throughout Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Located in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, its target markets are general process, food and beverage, biopharma, pulp and paper, power, chemical and municipal.

Kodiak Building Partners Acquires Gross-Yowell in Waco: Kodiak kicked off its 2024 expansion with the company’s latest acquisition in the form of Gross-Yowell, a construction supplies distributor based in Waco, TX. In business since 1946, Gross-Yowell is a distributor of building supplies, lumber, roofing, windows, doors and hardware. It caters to professional contractors and remodelers, carrying brands that include Canfor, Tolko, Georgia Pacific, Norbord, Louisiana Pacific, James Hardie, Yellawood, Boise Cascade, Certainteed and Tyvek.

Wyatt Seal Adds Florida Seal & Rubber in Tampa: Wyatt Seal acquired Tampa, FL-based sealing product distributor Florida Seal & Rubber. The acquisition will expand Wyatt Seal’s geographic footprint and add to its team of sealing technology experts. The Tampa location will join the company’s existing locations in Charlotte and Columbia, SC; Covington, LA; and Arlington, TN.

United Electric Supply Merges with Kovalsky-Carr Electric: Wilmington, DE-based United Electric Supply has merged with Rochester, NY-based independent electrical supply distributor Kovalsky-Carr Electric Co. Kovalsky-Carr will continue to operate as an independent distributor, a subsidiary of United and service its existing residential, commercial and industrial customers. It will have a focused effort on expansion in Rochester and the surrounding area.

Imperial Dade Acquires Insight Distributing in Spokane: Foodservice packaging, printing papers and JanSan supplies distributor Imperial Dade has acquired Spokane, WA-based JanSan and foodservice distributor Insight Distributing. The company — owned and operated by Ken and Luke Pearlstein — has two locations serving a diverse customer base throughout Washington and Idaho.

Singer Industrial Closes 2023 with HOSER Inc. Acquisition: The fluid power, hosing and industrial products distributor acquired HOSER Inc. — a distributor hose products and accessories, along with service solutions for on-site hose repair, hydraulic hose assemblies and more. Based in Greenville, SC with a second location in Monroe, NC, HOSER was formed 9 years ago. The company will now operate within Singer’s Industrial Rubber division. HOSER serves customers in markets of agriculture, construction, food and beverage, recycling and general industrial supply.

Stellar Industrial Acquires Metalworking Distributor IMC: The Tacoma, WA-based MRO supplies distributor will acquire IMC Supply — a 64-year-old metalworking supplies distributor based in Memphis, TN. IMC brands itself as a wholesale MRO supplier specializing in cutting tools for the industrial and construction industries throughout the U.S. mid-south throughout much of Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. IMC’s product portfolio of steel and carbide drills, reamers, taps, dies, end mills, indexable carbide, blueprint special tools, abrasives, PPE and other MRO supplies are accompanied by industrial vending and VMI programs. IMC’s sister company, 1sourcevend, offers distributors nationwide a selection of software-powered coil and locker vending machines and inventory management planning. The deal does not include the assets of 1sourcevend.

Manufacturers (8)

WALTER Acquires Cutting Tool Maker Greenfield Industries: WALTER Surface Technologies (Montreal, Quebec) acquired fellow cutting tools manufacturer Greenfield Industries, gaining a company that has roots dating back to 1874. Seneca, SC-based Greenfield makes branded and private label drills, taps, end mills and other cutting tools for a variety of industrial, maintenance, commercial and construction applications. Greenfield sells through industrial distribution under brand names Cleveland, Chicago-Latrobe, Cle-Line and Greenline Threading.

ABB Acquires Water Metering Sensor Maker Real Tech: Electrification and automation manufacturing giant ABB agreed to acquire Whitby, Ontario-based Real Tech Inc. — a provider of water quality monitoring solutions for real-time detection of critical parameters and compounds. ABB said the acquisition of Real Tech will expand its strong presence in the water segment and complement its product portfolio with optical technology critical for smart water management.

Atlas Copco Acquires Hycomp in Salt Lake City: Sweden-based compressors and pumps manufacturer Atlas Copo acquired Salt Lake City, UT-based Hycomp, a manufacturer and seller of specialized high-pressure oil-free compressors and boosters for a variety of industries. Atlas Copco noted that Hycomp has 37 employees and had total 2023 revenues of approximately $8.3 million.

MEIDOH Acquires Pilgrim Aerospace Fasteners: In a move that will diversify its offering, Japan-based fastener manufacturer MEIDOH acquired Pilgrim Screw Corp., which does business as Pilgrim Aerospace Fasteners. Pilgrim (Chandlzer, AZ) is a manufacturer of screws, bolts, rivets, clevis pins, and other fasteners for the aerospace market, while MEIDOH is the premier supplier of bolts to Toyota, and produces nuts and related forging parts for the automotive industry.

PennEngineering Acquires Sherex Fastening in Buffalo: Danboro, PA-based fastener manufacturer PennEngineering acquired Buffalo, NY-based Sherex Fastening Solutions, which manufactures blind rivet nuts and associated fastening solutions. The acquisition will provide additional global manufacturing capability to Sherex customers, and its offerings will complement the PennEngineering’s rivet nut brand.

Maysteel Industries Buys Star Precision Manufacturing: In a move to develop its internal capabilities and geographical presence, Maysteel Industries acquired sheet metal fabrication company Star Precision Manufacturing. Star Precision specializes in the fabrication of sheet metal into complex equipment serving a wide variety of industries, including utilities, telecommunications, scientific instrument, medical, data storage and recreational vehicles. It also offers precision machining and complete finishing services.

Cisco-Eagle Adds Trinity Controls in Birmingham: Material handling systems integration manufacturer Cisco-Eagle acquired Birmingham, AL-based controls engineering company Trinity Controls. Established in 2005, Trinity specializes in programmable logic controls (PLC) engineering. It focuses on design, programming and PLC panel fabrication for automation projects in the manufacturing and distribution sectors.

Badger Meter Acquires Water Monitoring Tech from Trimble: Flow control metering technology manufacturer Badger Meter acquired select remote water monitoring hardware and software from Trimble. The deal provides Badger Meter with real-time monitoring hardware and software targeted at distributed data collection for applications in water, wastewater, stormwater and environmental water monitoring.

What’d We Miss?

Of course, it’s highly unlikely that the list above encompasses EVERY M&A deal announced during December for relevant distributors and manufacturers. There will always be deals that weren’t on our radar. If you don’t see one here you think should be included, please let us know at editor@mdm.com.

Don’t forget: Our 4Q23 M&A Report will be released soon, exclusively for MDM Premium members.

Related Posts

Share this article

About the Author
Recommended Reading
Leave a Reply

Leave a Comment

Sign Up for the MDM Update Newsletter

The MDM update newsletter is your best source for news and trends in the wholesale distribution industry.

Get the MDM Update Newsletter

Wholesale distribution news and trends delivered right to your inbox.

Sign-up for our free newsletter and get:

  • Up-to-date news in a quick-to-read format
  • Free access to webcasts, podcasts and live events
  • Exclusive whitepapers, research and reports
  • And more!


articles left

Want more Premium content from MDM?

Subscribe today and get:

  • New issues twice each month
  • Unlimited access to mdm.com, including 10+ years of archived data
  • Current trends analysis, market data and economic updates
  • Discounts on select store products and events

Subscribe to continue reading

MDM Premium Subscribers get:

  • Unlimited access to MDM.com
  • 1 year digital subscription, with new issues twice a month
  • Trends analysis, market data and quarterly economic updates
  • Deals on select store products and events



You have one free article remaining

Subscribe to MDM Premium to get unlimited access. Your subscription includes:

  • Two new issues a month
  • Access to 10+ years of archived data on mdm.com
  • Quarterly economic updates, trends analysis and market data
  • Store and event discounts

To continue reading, you must be an MDM Premium subscriber.

Join other distribution executives who use MDM Premium to optimize their business. Our insights and analysis help you enter the right new markets, turbocharge your sales and marketing efforts, identify business partners that help you scale, and stay ahead of your competitors.

Register for full access

By providing your email, you agree to receive announcements from us and our partners for our newsletter, events, surveys, and partner resources per MDM Terms & Conditions. You can withdraw consent at any time.

Learn More about Custom Reports

Request a Market Prospector Demo

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.