The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

MDM News Digest 3623

electronic and electromechanical controls. Ark-Les is a producer of electromechanical and electronic switches, sensors, connectors, controls, user interfaces and actuators used in household appliances and automobiles. ITW is a $12.8 billion diversified manufacturer. More …

The Timken Company, Canton, OH, has acquired Turbo Engines Inc., Tuscon, AZ, provider of aircraft engine overhaul and repair services. The acquisition marks an expansion in Timken’s aerospace unit. More …


Material handling equipment manufacturer Bushman Equipment has acquired Avon Engineering, Waterdown, Ontario, Canada. The acquisition will boost Bushman’s presence in the Canadian steel industry. The two companies serve steel mills, paper mills and other heavy industries. Bushman plans to aggressively market Avon’s line in the U.S. More …

percent above the $952.5 billion for the same period in 2005. More …

Wolseley plc, London-based global distributor of plumbing and heating products and building materials, reported group revenue up by more than 15 percent in the first three months of its fiscal 2007, with 5 percent organic growth. Profit was up 9 percent. In constant currency, revenue and profit would have been higher by 4 percent. For Wolseley’s North American operations including Ferguson, Stock Building Supply and Wolseley Canada sales in dollars were up more than 10 percent and profit up 5 percent. Ferguson revenue and profit were both up over 20 percent from the prior-year period, and had double-digit organic growth. Including acquisitions, Stock’s revenue was up slightly but profit was down by around a quarter. Organic sales volumes were down by 6 percent. More …

Canadian wholesalers ended the third quarter on a bit of a down note as the industry recorded its largest monthly drop so far this year. Despite the drop, sales growth in the third quarter accelerated thanks to the gains made in the previous two months. After rising in the previous two months, sales fell by 1.6 percent in September to $41.8 billion. Five of the seven wholesale sectors, representing 85 percent of sales, declined in September, with wholesalers of automotive products (-3.4 percent) and machinery and electronic equipment (-3.3 percent) bearing the brunt of the decrease. The only positive notes came in the building materials (+1.0 percent) sector, where sales were bolstered by a rebound in lumber and millwork sales. More …

The U.S. Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which edged down in October, declined further in November. The Index now stands at 102.9, down from 105.1 in October. “A tighter labor market and a more guarded short-term outlook have combined to curb consumers’ confidence in November,” says Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. “Despite this retreat in confidence, the overall level of confidence remains favorable and continues to suggest that the economy will expand throughout the first half of next year.”

Rexel third quarter 2006 sales grew 13.8 percent over the same period in 2005. Sales growth was 15.7 percent in North America, 12.5 percent in Europe and 9.8 percent in Asia-Pacific. North American sales were strong despite a residential construction slowdown, fueled by commercial construction and growth in industrial demand. In Canada, growth was bolstered by oil sands production and infrastructure spending in Alberta, as well as hospital and university projects in Quebec. In the U.S., activity was strong, especially in southern states, for Rexel Inc. and GE Supply, which Rexel bought in August 2006. Commercial construction projects in Texas and post-Katrina construction works continue to be strong growth drivers. More …

Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation, Brookfield, WI, has tapped Steven P. Richman as its new president. Richman will be responsible for the Milwaukee brand and its role in manufacturing and marketing professional and industrial heavy-duty portable corded and cordless power tools, pneumatic tools, accessories and safety equipment. Former President and CEO Daniel Perry retired at the end of 2005. More …

Illinois Tool Works Inc., Glenview, IL, has acquired Ark-Les Corporation, Stoughton, MA, a developer of highly engineered
The Home Depot, Atlanta, GA, is apparently a takeover target of private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Texas Pacific Group, if recent news reports from CNBC and the New York Post are correct. The firms would pay a record $100 billion in a leveraged buyout of Home Depot, which has been growing its new wholesale division, HD Supply, rapidly. The Post reported the firms have been talking with investment banks about structuring the debt needed to finance what would be the largest leveraged buyout in history. Home Depot has refused to comment on the takeover reports. More …

Airgas, Inc., Radnor, PA, has agreed to buy the U.S. bulk gas business that Linde AG is required to divest after its acquisition of The BOC Group. Airgas will pay $495 million in cash for eight air separation units and related bulk gas business, which generated $154 million in revenues in the year ended Dec. 31, 2005. Revenues for the nine-month period ended Sept. 30, 2006, increased 10 percent to $126 million. Most of the plants are in the Eastern U.S. More …


Airgas has also acquired two smaller distributors, Southern Welding Supply Inc., in northern Alabama, and Alpena Supply Company, Alpena, MI. The two transactions, plus two smaller ones effective Dec. 1, 2006, bring Airgas’ total number of acquisitions in fiscal 2007 to 10. More …


Industrial gases distributor Praxair Distribution, Inc., Danbury, CT, a subsidiary of Praxair, Inc., has acquired Casper’s Welding Solutions & Supply LLC, Canfield, OH, and Welding Equipment Company, Inc., Long Beach, CA. The firms reported combined sales of nearly $3 million in 2005. They each operate retail stores that supply a variety of packaged industrial, medical and specialty gases, as well as welding equipment, supplies and solutions. More …

Stock Building Supply, Raleigh, NC, has purchased Kempsville Building Materials Inc., Virginia Beach, VA, a supplier of lumber, stairs, trusses and other materials to home builders. Kempsville Building Materials had sales of more than $70 million in 2004, but sales have been declining since, the Virginian-Pilot reported. Kempsville’s general manager told the newspaper that Kempsville’s employee-owners decided to sell the business due to competition from national chains. More …

Manufacturing activity declined to its lowest level in 42 months in November after 41 consecutive months of growth, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. However, the overall economy grew for the 61st consecutive month. In November, the Purchasing Managers Index fell to 49.5 percent. The last time the PMI registered below 50 percent was April 2003 (46.5 percent). A reading above 50 percent indicates the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates it is generally contracting. On the positive side, thanks to a weaker dollar, growth in New Export Orders continued.

Construction spending during October 2006 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,178.4 billion, 1.0 percent below the revised September estimate of $1,190.0 billion. The October figure is 0.5 percent above the October 2005 estimate of $1,172.6 billion. During the first 10 months of this year, construction spending amounted to $1,008.4 billion, 5.9

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