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This new-look issue offers research on suppliers’ changing purchase minimums, distributors’ (lack of) AI progress and geopolitical impacts; and updates on Ferguson, Home Depot-SRS Distribution and more.
This issue compares AI adoption rates in manufacturing vs. distribution; explores Grainger’s role as a ‘Problem-Solver’; examines Border States’ acquisition path; and shares takeaways from the MODEX expo.

Market Insight Reports

See our in-depth M&A articles from the first three months of 2024, including the Home Depot-SRS blockbuster; the acquisition strategy for Ferguson and Border States; and the latest EBITDA trading multiples.
Find a wealth of data and analysis extracted from the 1Q24 Baird-MDM Industrial Distribution Survey, including trending charts and figures for revenue and expectations, plus plenty of interesting commentary.
The report features in-depth articles that recap the year that was 2023 in distribution dealmaking, a full rundown of every deal we covered in October-December, the latest EBITDA trading multiples and more.
Find a wealth of data and analysis extracted from the 3Q23 Baird-MDM Industrial Distribution Survey, including trending charts and figures for revenue and expectations, plus plenty of interesting commentary.
Find a wealth of data and analysis extracted from the 3Q23 Baird-MDM Industrial Distribution Survey, including trending charts and figures for revenue and expectations, plus plenty of interesting commentary.

San Diego, CA-based Dixieline Lumber Company, a supplier of building materials to professional builders and contractors, has purchased Sandstone Brick Company. Dixieline is a division of Pro-Build Holdings.

A lumber, truss and building materials supplier, Sandstone Brick Company, Bakersfield, CA, serves the professional contractor retail market in California's Kern County. The organization is comprised of a truss manufacturing plant and lumber distribution yard.

“The growing Southern California metro markets have performed favorably over the last few years and are expected to regain their strength in years to come. said Joe Lawrence, president of Dixieline Lumber Company. “The acquisition of Sandstone Brick Company complements our current operations in ...

John F. Baugh, the founder of foodservice distributor Sysco Corp., has died at age 91.

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Baugh left his job in 1946 as a manager for the local A & P, Waco, TX, to launch food distributor Zero Foods. He made deliveries in the company's only truck six times a week - and after that he would make sales calls to cafeterias, bakeries and hospitals.

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More than 20 years later, in 1969, Baugh met with eight other distributors and created SYSCO Corporation. Since the company's initial public offering in 1970, when the company was at $115 million; SYSCO has grown to $30.3 billion in sales, according to its Web site.

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SYSCO has 69 distribution facilities and provides products and services to more than 390,000 ...

F & M Mafco, Inc., Cincinnati, OH, a distributor of construction and industrial supplies, has agreed to buy Carolina Industrial Tools, Inc., Charlotte, NC. Carolina is a distributor of tools, equipment, consumables, machinery and related products.

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The Carolina Industrial Tools acquisition will expand F & M Mafco's ability to serve customers in the southeast U.S.

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Mike McKenna, vice resident of sales, said: “Not only does this acquisition carry out our strategic plan, it also adds to our already growing business in the consumables market and will give us the opportunity to establish our tool & equipment rental capabilities in this area.

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F & M Mafco is a distributor of construction tools and ...

The European manufacturing sector, much like that of the U.S. and Japan, saw its industrial cycle peak in 2006 and will see its growth moderate in 2007, according to the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI Industrial Outlook for Europe February 2007, a report that analyzes 27 major industries.

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In a sign of manufacturing sustainability, however, 23 of the 27 industries tracked in the report had inflation-adjusted production above the level of the previous year, indicating continued broad-based growth in the industrial sector.

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Top industry performers in 2006, recording year-over-year double-digit growth, were valves, tubes and electronic components (20 percent); machine tools (14.7 percent); optical instruments (14.3 percent); electric ...

Albuquerque-based SUMMIT Electric Supply has opened a new sales office in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

< &nbsp ;

< “Opening shop in Dubai signifies our commitment to global electrical professionals, says SUMMIT president and CEO Vic Jury. "SUMMIT has been servicing international customers for many years through our export division in Houston."

< &nbsp ;

< SUMMIT's Dubai office opened in February and is a partnership with the drilling supplies and services company Driltools.

< &nbsp ;

< SUMMIT's export department is staffed by multilingual personnel versed in export law and regulations, as well as packing and shipping procedures. They can solicit requests and contracts, purchase material worldwide, negotiate agreements, and ...

Interline Brands Inc., Jacksonville, FL, distributor of MRO products, has named William Sanford president. The role was previously held by Michael Grebe who continues to serve as chairman and CEO.

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Sanford joined Interline Brands as Chief Financial Officer in March of 1999 and was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in September of 2004. He has more than 24 years experience in distribution, holding senior executive positions with MSC Industrial Direct and Airgas, Inc.

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Bill has played a major role in building Interline Brands into the organization it is today and our board is very pleased to recognize his contributions with this promotion," Grebe said.

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Interline reported sales of $1.068 ...

RONA Inc., Canadian retailer and distributor of home improvement, hardware and gardening products, reported sales grew 13.1% in fiscal 2006; organic growth (without major acquisitions) was 6%. Profit reached $190.6 million, up 8.8% over 2005.

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Same-store sales were up 1.3%.

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“RONA's 2006 results are in line with our 7-07 target, said Chief Executive Robert Dutton. “Our growth was both solid and profitable: Network retail sales are now nearing the&nbsp ; $6 billion mark and earnings have increased for the 16th straight year. We also made significant progress against all our benchmarks, especially those related to operating efficiency."

“Still promising in the medium and long term, our market is being affected by the ...
In a time when most building
materials distributors and suppliers are cutting assets, <A
href=" target=_blank>84 Lumber
Company, Eighty Four, PA, supplier of building materials, recently
announced it has opened three new stores.

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The first, in <st1:place
w:st="on">Gonzales, <st1:State
w:st="on">LA, includes a 5,865 square-foot main building
and 38,580 square-foot warehouse on 9.1 acres of property. The second is in
Sarasota, <st1:State
w:st="on">FL, the company's 23rd location in
the state. It includes a 6,918 square-foot main building and ...

Brady Industries, Las Vegas, NV, a janitorial supply distributor, has acquired Boulder Creek Supply, a Boise, ID-based company.

Boulder Creek was founded in 1999.  With this acquisition, Brady Industries expands its geographic footprint to seven locations with plans for further expansion in 2007.

"The Boise acquisition compliments our regional coverage of the Idaho market, said Travis Brady, president of Brady Industries. "With branches in Salt Lake City and Idaho Falls, this acquisition strengthens our regional service capabilities."

Brady Industries supplies janitorial supplies and commercial cleaning equipment and service in the Las Vegas market. Brady has expanded its offering to include a complete warewash product line along with its already extensive kitchen cleaning and sanitation program.

Columbus McKinnon Corporation, Amherst, NY, manufacturer of material handling products, has sold Larco Industrial Services, Ltd., the Canadian subsidiary of the company's wholly owned subsidiary Crane Equipment & Service, Inc.

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Larco, a manufacturer and servicer of large capacity overhead cranes based in Stoney Creek, Ontario, was sold to Canadian Overhead Handling Inc. of Montreal, Quebec. The net proceeds of the Larco sale will be used for debt reduction and general operating purposes.

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For the latest 12 months, Larco contributed revenue of approximately $10 million and operated near breakeven.

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Columbus McKinnon CEO Timothy T. Tevens said: Given its narrowly focused product line and market, Larco was not an ...

Kaman Corp.,
Bloomfield, CT, reported sales of $1.2 billion, up 9.5% from $1.1 billion in
2005. The Industrial Distribution segment recorded sales of $665.4 million, a 7%

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Kaman's Aerospace
division saw a 13% increase in sales for the year to $326 million, and its Music
division saw a sales increase of 12% to $214.8 million.

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Profit for the year
was $31.8 million, up from $13 million in 2005.

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For the fourth
quarter 2006, sales were $308.9 million, up 7% from the same period last year.
Industrial Distribution saw a 3.6% sales increase in the fourth quarter to
$157.6 million.

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The increase in
sales (in Industrial Distribution) was driven by strong ...

Nucor Corp., Charlotte, NC, has acquired 96% of Toronto-based Harris Steel for C$46.25 in cash per share. Nucor intends to eventually buy all of Harris and take the company private.

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Harris Steel has several business units: Harris Rebar, involved in the fabrication and placing of concrete reinforcing steel and the design and installation of concrete post-tensioning systems; Laurel Steel, a manufacturer and distributor of wire and wire products, welded wire mesh and cold finished bar; and Fisher & Ludlow, a manufacturer and distributor of heavy industrial steel grating, aluminum grating and expanded metal.

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Harris also participates in steel trading on a worldwide basis through Novosteel and in the distribution of reinforcing steel and ...

Lawson Products, Inc., Des Plaines, IL, distributor of services, systems and products to the MRO and OEM marketplaces, announced sales of $518.2 million for 2006, a 15.1% increase from 2005. Profit decreased 52.8% to $12.6 million in 2006.

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In 2006, Lawson integrated Rutland Tool & Supply Co., acquired in December 2005. That acquisition added about 80,000 SKUs to the company's offering. Lawson also reconfigured its Suwannee, GA, distribution center and started construction on a 140,000 square foot addition to its Reno, NV, DC.

Sales for the fourth quarter 2006 increased 9.2% to $126.2 million from the same quarter in 2005. Fourth quarter 2006 results include a full quarter of the operations of Rutland, which was acquired in December 2005. ...

The Financial Times is reporting that three teams of private equity firms are preparing for possible bids for HD Supply. Teams include: Bain Capital, Carlyle Group and Clayton Dubilier & Rice (owner of Rexel); Thomas H Lee Partners, Goldman Sachs and CCMP; and Blackstone, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Leonard Green Partners and Texas Pacific Group.

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Home Depot CEO Frank Blake told analysts and investors at the annual meeting this week that HD has not yet made a decision to sell. The Financial Times reports that the unit could get up to $11 billion.FT says Bain and Carlyle could be naturals for the ownership of HD Supply because of their investments in retail organizations - that said, HD Supply is a wholesale business, with a different operating structure from ...

Manufacturing expanded in February following a decline in January, and the overall economy grew for the 64th consecutive month, according to the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business.

February proved to be a good month in the manufacturing sector as New Orders, Production and Employment contributed to a solid growth scenario, ISM reports. The Inventories Index showed significant reduction in manufacturers' inventories for the second consecutive month, and the Backlog of Orders Index is growing once again.

While the prices manufacturers pay reached their highest level in five months, concern about prices is still minimal due to the small number of commodities indicated as up in price. The trend in manufacturing, as well as the overall economy, ...

Grainger, distributor
of facilities maintenance supplies, has released a new specialty catalog for
plumbing products and supplies.&nbsp ; Products offered through&nbsp ; the catalog
include water heaters and coolers, pipes, valves, fittings, fixtures, faucets
and water filtration systems.

&nbsp ;

The catalog is 316
pages, with more than 16,000 Plumbing, Valves and Fittings, or which 12,000 are
new to Grainger's offering. An additional 1,500 products that are related to
Plumbing (from various categories) brings the total to about 17,750 items.&nbsp ;

&nbsp ;

Grainger also
bolstered its offering in material handling, fasteners and security products
this year.

&nbsp ;

W.W. Grainger, Inc.,
with ...

Home Depot CEO Frank Blake reinforced his drive to refocus on the business' retail division at the company's annual investor and analyst conference. To that end, Blake told participants that acquisitions outside of the retail core won't be a priority for us.

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HD Supply ended the year at 12% of Home Depot's overall sales - HD hopes that number will grow to 15% by the end of the year. Still HD Supply, which reached $12 billion in sales in 2006, had a 6.9% decline in organic growth in the fourth quarter. That is consistent with the down housing market.

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Retail also suffered in the fourth quarter 2006 with a profit drop of 28%. Sales were up just 4%. For the year, organic growth was down 2.8%.

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HD does not expect ...

Barnes Group Inc., Bristol, CT, has acquired the assets of the Di-Dro Manifold Systems product line from Di-Dro Systems Inc. The Di-Dro Manifold System product line will be integrated into Barnes Group Inc.'s Associated Spring business segment.

The Di-Dro Manifold System product line is complementary to Associated Spring's Nitrogen Gas Spring Manifold System product line. The addition of the Di-Dro Manifold System product line expands the company's reach in high-quality gas springs for use in diverse industrial applications requiring high force and/or compact dimensions. Applications range from tool and die manufacturers, to industrial robots, to dump trucks to waste compressors around the world.

Related Links:
<A ...

SKF has agreed to acquire ABBA Linear Tech Co., Ltd., an Asian manufacturer of profile rail guides, based in Taiwan.

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The ABBA Group has annual sales of about MSEK 250. It is headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan and has facilities in Taiwan and in China.

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With the addition of ABBA's product range, SKF is reinforcing its position in linear guides. The acquisition is in line with the SKF Group's strategy to strengthen its different technology platforms and to grow in Asia.

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ABBA will be part of the SKF Actuation & Motion Control business unit within the Industrial Division.

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More Breaking News
European ...

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