MDM Editor Lindsay Konzak said it best in her recent blog: "2009 has been a rough year for Mergers and Acquisitions in the distribution industry." From the complete disarray of the financial markets to the economy in general, opportunities for expansion were sometimes hard to come by.
But several companies were able to take advantage of the opportunities that did exist.
Here are the year's Top 8 M&A stories from MDM:
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Grainger Takes on the World
Grainger itself was the top M&A story of the year because they continued to push forward with acquisitions, completing at least five deals in the past year primarily in international markets. The facilities maintenance products distributor expanded its presence in India, Japan and Canada, while continuing to build on its existing strengths. Deals included:
- Grainger Completes Acquisition of 53% of Japanese Distributor
- Grainger Agrees to Acquire Full Ownership of India Joint Venture
- Acklands-Grainger Acquires K&D Pratt Industrial Division in Canada
- Grainger Expands into Service through Acquisition of Alliance Energy
- Grainger Acquires Imperial Supplies
2: Motion Industries' Market Moves
Motion Industries, a subsidiary of Genuine Parts Company, refused to let opportunities pass it by as well, making strategic acquisitions to further build out its presence in various market spaces:
- Motion Industries Agrees to Buy BC Bearing
- Motion Industries Buys Industrial Supplies Distributor General Tool
- Motion Industries Acquires Monroe Rubber & Plastic Supply
Spins Off Stock Building Supply in Joint Venture Deal
The bleak housing market forced UK distributor Wolseley to reevaluate its businesses. The losses associated with its U.S. building supplies unit were just too great. In May, the company entered a joint venture agreement in which it will retain 49% equity stake in Stock, while private equity firm The Gores Group will control company.
Works, Black & Decker to Merge
In a move that many industry experts say was a long time coming, Stanley Works and Black & Decker announced plans to merge to create a new tool manufacturing giant: Stanley Black & Decker. While brands from both companies are seen in many of the same places, the minimal overlap of actual products made this a smart move.
Supply White Cap Acquires ORCO Construction
Expanding its presence in the Southeast U.S, HD Supply White Cap acquired the assets of ORCO Construction Supply after the regional construction materials distributor filed for bankruptcy.
McJunkin Red Man Buys Transmark
Pipe, valve and fittings distributor McJunkin Red Man solidified itself as a global distributor with the acquisition of UK-based Transmark, a distributor of specialty valve and flow control equipment.
Carrier Corp. Go Forward with Joint Venture
Deal nearly doubled Watsco's sales through creation of Carrier Enterprises LLC.
8: Arrow Electronics
Acquires A.E. Petsche Company
Having already established its presence in the commercial and industrial markets, Arrow's acquisition of A.E. Petsche increased the electrical components distributor's presence in the aerospace and defense markets.