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2016 wasn't as active for M&A in wholesale distribution as the year before in terms of deals getting announced and completed, with most transactions involving large distributors acquiring growth via smaller targets during this slow-growth environment.
Here are some of the top M&A deals of 2016, based not just on dollar amount but also on their impact on the industry and/or sector:
- Praxair, Linde Agree to Merge
Industrial gases company Praxair Inc., Danbury, CT, and Linde AG finally agreed to merge following on-again, off-again discussions throughout the fall. The deal will create the largest gases supplier in the world with more than $30 billion in annual revenue. The combined company, to be governed by a single board of directors with equal representation from Linde and Praxair, plans to adopt the Linde name, with corporate functions split between Danbury, CT, and Munich, Germany.
- ABC Supply to Acquire L&W Supply
Building products distributor ABC Supply Co. Inc., Beloit, WI, agreed to acquire L&W Supply Corp. from USG Corp., Chicago, IL, for $670 million. ABC Supply is No. 2 on MDM's Top 10 Building Materials & Construction Distributors list (dropping from the top position behind Builders FirstSource, after reporting sales of $5.9 billion in 2015). L&W is USG's distribution business; it was tied for No. 10 on the list with sales of $1.4 billion in 2015.
- Avnet Agrees to Acquire Premier Farnell
Avnet Inc., Phoenix, AZ, agreed to acquire electronic components distributor Premier Farnell plc, Leeds, United Kingdom, for £691 million (US$906.8 million). Avnet also pulled off a significant divestiture when it agreed to sell its technology solutions operating group to Tech Data Corp. in a stock and cash transaction valued at $2.6 billion.
- Border States Agrees to Acquire Shealy Electrical Wholesalers
Border States Electric, Fargo, ND, a wholesale electrical product and solution supplier, acquired Shealy Electrical Wholesalers, based in North and South Carolina. Shealy, an electrical wholesale supplier with 350 employees and 17 locations, will continue to be led by Bill DeLoache, CEO; Brent Spear, COO; and David White, president. The name changed to Shealy Electrical Wholesalers, a division of Border States.
- Packaging Corp. of America Agrees to Acquire Columbus Container
Packaging Corp. of America, Lake Forest, IL, acquired Columbus Container Inc., Columbus, IN, for $100 million. The acquisition includes a full-line corrugated products facility located in Columbus, IN, five warehousing facilities and other related operations located in Indiana and Illinois.
- KLX Acquires Herndon Aerospace & Defense
KLX Inc., Wellington, FL, acquired Herndon Aerospace & Defense LLC for $210 million. Herndon Aerospace & Defense is a supply chain management and consumables hardware distributor serving principally military depot aftermarket customers, as well as commercial aerospace aftermarket customers.