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General Industrial Acquires Power Tool Distributor

General Industrial Tool & Supply, Sun Valley, CA, a general-line industrial distributor, has acquired W.I.S.E., a distributor into local government markets and Pacific Supply, a wholesale power tool distributor. The deals add about 30 percent in volume to General Industrial's sales, according to CEO Kathleen Durbin. In addition, the acquisition extends General's reach into local municipal and utility segments in Southern California.

The move is part of an acquisition strategy that Durbin says fits with their market strategy. "This is a very unique market, where strong customer relationships are important," she said. "This is an attractive customer segment that we've been pursuing the past few years, and W.I.S.E. offers a way to expand into that market as well as extend the power tool offerings into our existing customer base. It puts us on course to our ultimate goal of being the dominant distributor in our market." 

W.I.S.E. acquired Pacific Supply in 1996, a wholesaler of power tools that accounts for a smaller portion of its sales. General Industrial is currently building out its existing facility to double capacity and incorporate W.IS.E. operations. Durbin sees further opportunities to gain market share through additional acquisitions. "We think we can offer some strong benefits to smaller distributors in our markets who are looking for exit strategies, and want to continue the customer relationships that have built the business."

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