News Digest 3606

Synflex business unit of Saint-Gobain Performance
Plastics Corp.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of
March. Synflex had 2005 sales of about $120 million and makes thermoplastic
hoses and tubing for a range of industries, including transportation, beverage
dispensing, fluid power and specialty applications.

, The
Netherlands, a low voltage and security distributor, announced its parent,
Honeywell, will acquire Gardiner Groupe Europe
($260 million in annual sales) from Electra Partners Europe, a private equity
firm. The acquisition is meant to strengthen ADI’s scope in security
distribution throughout Europe. Gardiner Groupe Europe, Paris, distributes CCTV
systems, fire alarm, intrusion alarm, access control, public address and
integrated systems. It has 75 locations in 10 countries.

Increased traffic at ports,
especially on the West Coast, is causing increased demand for warehouse
and distribution facilities
. New industrial construction should
rise 20 percent this year to accommodate specific distribution requirements and
to replace structures that are now obsolete, according to a commercial real
estate report by the National Association of Realtors. Industrial
vacancy rates are likely to fall
to an average of 8 percent in the
fourth quarter of 2006 from 9.6 percent in the last quarter of 2005.
Industrial rents are expected to grow 3.8 percent this

distributor based in Omaha,
NE. The addition of the Wright & Wilhelmy sales force and customer base will
increase Orgill’s penetration into Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, North Dakota and
South Dakota. The existing Wright & Wilhelmy distribution center will
operate as an Orgill redistribution branch supplied by Orgill’s Memphis
distribution center.

Hampshire Equity
New York,
NY, has acquired Impact Products LLC, Toledo, OH. Hampshire
reported it would explore strategic acquisitions that would expand the company’s
product offering. Impact’s management retains an equity interest in the company.
Impact Products is a supplier of branded and private-label non-chemical
commercial cleaning, maintenance and related products. The company offers
janitorial products, including floorcare products, waste receptacles, washroom
products and safety products. Impact’s products are used in the
janitorial/sanitation, industrial and foodservice markets. Impact has 4,000
customers and a product offering of 3,700 commercial cleaning and safety
products. Hampshire Equity Partners invests in lower middle-market companies
(EBITDA between $3 million and $15 million).

January U.S. machine tool
, down 32
percent from December, totaled $225.94 million, according to the American
Machine Tool Distributors’ Association and the Association For Manufacturing
Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTC
program, was down 31.9 percent from December but up 11.3 percent from the total
of $202.94 million reported for January 2005. href=”/pub/1_1/breaking-news/3049-1.html” target-_blank>More

Metals service center
Ryerson Inc., Chicago, IL, sales increased 75.1 percent to $5.8
billion for fiscal year 2005 on a 24 percent increase in tons shipped and a 41.2
percent increase in the average selling price per ton. Sales were up 44.4
percent to $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter due to the acquisition of metals
service center Integris Metals ($2 billion in 2004

Barnes Group
, Bristol, CN, has
agreed to acquire Heinz Hanggi AG, Stanztechnik of Bettlach,
Switzerland, a developer and manufacturer of high-precision punched and
fine-blanked components, for a combination of cash and Barnes Group Inc. common
stock. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of this year
and will add about $30 million in annual sales to Barnes Group’s Associated
Spring unit. target=_blank>More …

announced its Lab
Safety Supply
subsidiary has acquired Rand Materials Handling
Equipment Co.
, Pawtucket, RI. Rand is a national catalog distributor of
warehouse, storage and packaging supplies, part of the $80 billion material
handling market. Rand had $16 million in sales in 2005.

, St. Louis, MO, has acquired
Bristol Babcock from FKI plc of Loughborough,
England, for $121 million. To be renamed Bristol, the company becomes part of
Emerson Process Management and adds measurement and control products,
technologies and services for oil, gas, power, water and wastewater industries.
Bristol Babcock is headquartered in Watertown, CT, and has annual revenues of
$80 million. It has manufacturing facilities and offices in the U.S., UK, and
Canada as well as Mexico, the Middle East, Australia and China.

Diversified industrial manufacturer
Eaton Corp. ($11.1 billion in 2005 sales) will acquire the

MSC Industrial Direct Co.
, Melville, NY,
has announced it will pay $349.5 million in cash, or 11.3X EBITDA, for
Kennametal’s J& L Industrial Supply business. J& L
reported sales of $265 million in 2005, with 74,000 customers and more than 140
salespeople. The deal completes Kennametal’s planned exit from owned
distribution businesses, which had created consistent channel management issues
for the increasingly diversified cutting tool manufacturer. href=”/pub/1_1/breaking-news/3053-1.html” target=_blank>More

Castrol Industrial North

., Naperville, IL, plans to realign its distribution channels to
focus on its strengths. The company plans to reduce the number of distributors
and the industries it serves. href=”/Admin/issues/36_6/news/3062-1.html” target=_blank>More

W.W. Grainger
, Chicago, IL,
$5.5 billion distributor of facilities maintenance supplies, is adding more than
39,000 products to its new 2006 catalog launching April 3, 2006. The expansion
brings the number of products offered through its catalog from 82,000 to more
than 115,000. The expanded offering consists of some 30,000 different fasteners
such as screws, bolts and nuts, and an additional 10,000 products spread across
diverse product categories including electrical, cleaning, material handling,
plumbing and ventilation. href=”/pub/1_1/breaking-news/3054-1.html” target=_blank>More

, Radnor, PA, has
agreed to acquire the assets and operations of Airtec Inc., an
industrial gas and welding supply distributor with six locations in Wisconsin
and one in Minneapolis, MN. The acquisition is expected to close by April 1,
2006, subject to customary closing conditions. The Altoona, WI-based business,
which generated around $13 million in annual sales in 2005 and employs about 60
people, will be integrated into Airgas North Central, one of Airgas’ 13 regional
companies. More

, London, group
revenues increased more than 26 percent to $11.85 billion with profit up nearly
22 percent to $677.5 million. Wolseley saw organic growth of 12.2 percent.
Wolseley’s North American companies had reported revenues up more than 40
percent and profit up 39 percent. Wolseley’s U.S. plumbing and heating business,
Ferguson, had overall sales growth of 37.8 percent to $4,530.5
million and organic growth of 27 percent. Profit growth was 29.5 percent.
Stock Building Supply reported revenues up 27.2 percent to $2.5
billion with profit up 51.5 percent to $157.3 million. Organic revenue growth
was 7.9 percent, reflecting some commodity price deflation in lumber and
structural panels. href=”/pub/1_1/breaking-news/3055-1.html” target=_blank>More

Activant Solutions
, Austin, TX,
(purchased Prophet 21 in September 2005) has signed a definitive agreement to be
acquired by private equity investment firms Hellman & Friedman
and Thoma Cressey Equity Partners. The firms
will acquire Activant Solutions Holdings Inc and all its subsidiaries from
investment funds affiliated with HM Capital Partners LLC, which has approved the
transaction. Activant serves small- and medium-sized retail and wholesale
distribution businesses. href=”/pub/1_1/breaking-news/3050-1.html” target=_blank>More

Hardlines distributor
Orgill Inc., Memphis, TN, will acquire Wright &
, a 131-year-old wholesale hardware

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