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July 2015 M&A Roundup: Blockbuster Deals for Distribution

The Home Depot's acquisition of Interline Brands headlines mammoth month in M&A.

The M&A surge that many projected for 2015 finally arrived in July with a host of monumental deals, led by The Home Depot's return to distribution.

The Atlanta, GA-based retail giant is plunging into wholesale distribution for the second time – it spun off HD Supply Holding Inc. in 2007 – with the $1.6 billion purchase of Interline Brands Inc., a Jacksonville, FL-based distributor of broad-line MRO products to the facilities maintenance end market.

The Home Depot is buying Interline from private equity firms Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and P2 Capital Partners.

Its aforementioned spinoff, HD Supply, pulled off another one of July's most notable transactions when it agreed to sell its Power Solutions division to Anixter International Inc., Glenview, IL, for $825 million. The purchase bolsters Anixter's wire and cable and its utility divisions.  

Also in the electrical space, Paris-based electrical distributor Rexel acquired Belgium-based electrical distributor Electro-Industrie en Acoustiek, whose market is primarily in the industrial zone of Antwerp's port.

In divestiture news from the electrical sector, Switzerland-based power and automation company ABB agreed to sell its Huntersville, NC, cable factory to Southwire Company LLC, a Carrollton, GA-based wire and cable manufacturer. And Emerson, St. Louis, MO, plans to spin off its Network Power business to streamline its portfolio, drive growth and accelerate value creation for shareholders.

The building materials sector was again active, as it has been since late last year. Beacon Roofing Supply Inc., Herndon, VA, agreed to acquire Roofing Supply Group, Dallas, TX, from investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice for $1.1 billion.

Another deal reported to be around $1 billion – though terms were not disclosed – was the owner of building materials distributor US LBM Holdings LLC, Green Bay, WI, agreeing to sell a majority of the equity interests in the company to affiliates of another private equity firm, Kelso & Co.

And Builders FirstSource completed its acquisition of ProBuild, a $1.6 billion deal that was announced in April.

In other notable M&A news last month, Grainger, Chicago, IL, agreed to acquireCromwell Group (Holdings) Ltd., Leicester, England, and its subsidiaries for £310 million (US$484 million). Cromwell is the largest independent MRO distributor in the United Kingdom, serving more than 35,000 industrial and manufacturing customers worldwide. The company's sales for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31 are projected to be £283 million (US$441.9 million), with the vast majority of revenue coming from the UK.

Here are other key deals that occurred in July 2015:

BlackHawk Industrial Acquires Jarvis Supply

NOW Inc. to Acquire Odessa Pumps and Equipment

Stellar Industrial Supply to Acquire Tucson Abrasives

WinWholesale Acquires M. Cooper Supply

Airgas Acquires Weldinghouse & Priority Energy Services

Praxair Acquires Cryospec & Garland Welding Supplies

Tech Air Acquires L&M Welding Supply

Essendant to Acquire Nestor Sales

Shale-Inland Holdings Acquires Major Sourcing

Wurth Group Acquires Northern Safety and Industrial

Univar USA Acquires Chemical Associates

Columbus McKinnon to Acquire Magnetek

Carlstar Acquires Marathon Industries

Quality Tools & Services Acquires AMC Supply

Ritz Safety Acquires Safety Source

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