6309 Monarch Park Place, Suite 203
Niwot, CO 80503, USA
Phone (303) 443-5060
Toll free (888) 742-5060
Strong Tool sells metal-cutting tools, abrasives and MRO supplies to the automotive and other industries in the Midwest. The transaction includes all seven of Strong Tool's warehouse/office locations: four in Ohio (Cleveland, Canton, Lima and Lexington); two in Indiana (Indianapolis and Warsaw); and one in Erie, PA. Strong Tool has 70 employees. Vendors include Kennametal, The Norton Company, Greenfield Industries, Garr Tool, Gurhing Inc., Allied Machine & Engineering, American Saw, Parlec Corp., Circle Machine Co., and Stanley-Proto.
Beckett becomes president and CEO of Strong Tool and general manager Matt Mazur will remain with the now-private company as vice president and general manager. Beckett is looking to hire a chief financial officer. The acquisition by Beckett, who is African-American, qualifies Strong Tool as a Minority Business Enterprise, which positions the Company well for strong sales growth opportunities going forward.
'Strong Tool has a well-deserved reputation as a quality supply house, with an excellent management team, employee accountability and brand recognition,' Beckett said. 'I am also very impressed with its geographic footprint in the hotbed of manufacturing, the Midwest. We will continue to provide great service to core customers in the automotive and machining industries, as well as expand to other areas of metalworking.'
Strong Tool had been a private company prior to being acquired in 1998 by J&L Industrial Supply, a subsidiary of Kennametal Inc. It was one of six metalworking distributors J&L acquired that year. J&L subsequently decided to seek a buyer for the Strong Tool operation as part of its strategy to return to a focus on its core competencies in catalog sales distribution.
Beckett is former vice president of Barnes Group, Inc. and former president of Barnes' industrial distribution business, Bowman Distribution, in Cleveland. In addition to purchasing Strong Tool, Beckett is the founder, owner and chief executive officer of Detroit-based Minority Gateway, Inc., an e-commerce service provider for distributors and tier-one automotive customers purchasing maintenance, repair and operating supplies from minority- owned suppliers.
'We are grateful for the hard work and commitment of the Strong Tool employees, and wish them and Mr. Beckett very well as they move into the next phase of Strong Tool's development,' said Mike Wessner, J&L's chief operating officer. 'This transaction is important from our standpoint because it enables us to exit a non-core, non-strategic part of our business. We can now focus on building the profitability of our J&L catalog business.'
Cleveland-based McDonald Investments, Inc. served as Kennametal's adviser for the transaction, including identifying prospective buyers and negotiating the terms with Beckett.
'When it became apparent that Strong Tool no longer fit into Kennametal's long-term strategy, the parent company wanted to find just the right buyer - a buyer who had the desire and the financing to see this transaction through to fruition, and a buyer with the ability and industry expertise to continue to grow Strong Tool,' said Ahab Garas, the investment banker from McDonald Investments who negotiated the deal for Kennametal. 'This deal works for both companies. It enables Strong Tool to return to its roots as a privately owned, regionally focused distribution company and allows Kennametal/J&L to focus on its core competencies and strategic imperatives.'