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Chicago, IL-based Grainger, broad line distributor of facilities maintenance products, said it plans to become a 53% majority owner of MonotaRO, a direct marketer of MRO supplies in Japan. Grainger expects to invest $4 million through a tender offer bid process later this summer.
MonotaRO started as a joint venture between Grainger and Sumitomo Corp. in 2000. The business offers more than 110,000 products to more than 320,000 customers. In 2008, MonotaRO had revenues of $136 million and operating earnings of $11 million.
Grainger CEO Jim Ryan says that Grainger estimates the Japanese MRO market at $50 billion. "This increased investment, along with our recent acquisition of Asia Pacific Brands India Private Limited demonstrates Grainger's commitment to grow its global presence," he said. "… We plan to continue to pursue attractive opportunities in global markets."
Grainger currently owns 38% of the business.
W.W. Grainger, Inc., with 2008 sales of $6.9 billion, serves businesses in the