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Niwot, CO 80503, USA
Phone (303) 443-5060
Toll free (888) 742-5060
The Timken Company, Canton, OH, has signed a definitive agreement to sell Kilian Manufacturing Corporation and its affiliate, Kilian Canada ULC, to an affiliate of Genstar Capital, L.P., a private investment firm, and members of Kilian's management team. Kilian produces machined-race bearings, including ball and roller bearings and assemblies, for broad industrial and automotive applications, and in 2003 had net sales of approximately $40 million. Kilian was acquired by The Torrington Company in 1975. Timken acquired Torrington in 2003.
Airgas, Inc., Radnor, PA, has acquired the assets and operations of Welding Supply House, Inc., including a branch, warehouse and fill plant located in Lafayette, LA. The assets acquired, which generated nearly $3 million in annual sales in 2003, have been integrated into Airgas Gulf States, one of 13 regional companies that make up Airgas. Airgas Gulf States has branches in New Iberia and Jennings, which are among nearly 30 branches in its region, spanning the Florida panhandle, south Alabama, south Mississippi, south Louisiana and southeast Texas along the Gulf Coast.
In August 2004, Ferguson Enterprises, Newport News, VA, a division of UK-based Wolesley plc, reached agreement, subject to a bankruptcy filing and subsequent Court approval, to acquire substantially all of the operating assets of the Clark Group family of companies. Completion is expected in December 2004. The Clark Group's main business is the fabrication and distribution of fire protection equipment. Headquartered in St. Louis, MO and operating from 11 locations throughout the U.S., the Clark Group will be integrated into Ferguson's fire sprinkler/fabrication business and make it the leading fire protection distribution/fabrication company in the industry. The Clark Group had sales of $57 million in 2003 and net assets, excluding net debt, of $11 million at that date. In September, Ferguson acquired Cline Contract Sales, a wholesale distributor of custom home appliances operating from a branch in Richmond, VA. Cline had sales of $6.9 million in 2003 and net assets, excluding net debt, of $0.6 million.
In Europe, the company purchased Brooks Group Ltd of Ireland, and its OAG division in Austria acquired the trade and certain assets of Klockner Stahl und Metall GmbH. Brooks Group is a timber and builders' merchant with 18 locations in Ireland. Klockner is a steel distributor with an emphasis on steel pipes. It will be integrated into Kontinentale, OAG's pipe, valves and fittings distribution business.
Martin Plant Services (MPS), the integrated supply division of Martin Supply Company, Sheffield, AL, was awarded a contract by Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. (MBUSI) to provide staffing and support for Central Stores at the Vance, Alabama manufacturing operations. Under the contract, MPS will staff Central Stores 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for issuing, receiving and delivery of all indirect materials, while utilizing MBUSI's SAP software. Other value-added services are to include expediting, purchasing, cost savings documentation, and logistics as well as layout for material storage onsite. MPS will have a staff of 15 trained personnel onsite to serve MBUSI's production facility.
MDM continues to hear cost inflation is squeezing distributors harder between suppliers and customers. Case in point: In its recent 10-K filing with the SEC, Applied Industrial Technologies, Cleveland, OH, offered this outlook on the year ahead: "Year-over-year sales increases for fiscal 2005 should start out strong in the first half of the year and then moderate in the second half, primarily because of comparisons to strong sales in the last half of fiscal 2004. We anticipate our next year sales to increase 3.5% to 6.0% and our gross profit percentage to be consistent with, or slightly