MRO Magazine

Grainger to acquire large European MRO distributor

Chicago, IL - Industrial distributor W.W. Grainger Inc. (Grainger) of Lake Forest, IL, plans to acquire the shares of Fabory Group of Tilburg, the Netherlands, a European distributor of fasteners and related MRO (maintenance, repair and...


Chicago, IL – Industrial distributor W.W. Grainger Inc. (Grainger) of Lake Forest, IL, plans to acquire the shares of Fabory Group of Tilburg, the Netherlands, a European distributor of fasteners and related MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) products. The transaction price will be approximately US$344 million (242 million euro).

The parties plan to enter a definitive agreement upon completion of required consultations with Works Councils representing Fabory employees in the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2011.

Fabory was founded in 1947 and is the fastener market leader in the Netherlands and Belgium. With 2010 sales of about $300 million (211 million euro), Fabory offers its 120,000 customers access to more than 80,000 products in 14 countries. A total of 53% of its sales are to the MRO market, with 19% going to wholesale and 28% to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers); 63% of its business is fasteners, 25% tools and 12% industrial supplies.

Advertisment

According to Grainger, Europe is the largest MRO market in the world, valued at about US$200 billion (140 billion euro). Fabory has been aggressively expanding its MRO and fastener offerings throughout Central and Eastern Europe and also provides supply chain fastener solutions to OEM customers in Europe, North America and China as well as through a joint venture in India through Sterling Fabory Ltd.

“Fabory provides a unique opportunity for Grainger to enter one of the world’s largest MRO markets through an established and growing business,” said Jim Ryan, Grainger’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Fabory brings expertise as a fastener specialist to amplify Grainger’s product offering, while Grainger’s scale and supplier network will help accelerate further growth of Fabory’s business.”

Grainger intends for Fabory to continue as a separate business, maintaining the Fabory name and brand. Oswald van den Belt, chief executive officer of Fabory Group, will continue to lead the business and report to Court Carruthers, senior vice-president and president, Grainger International.

“Known as the Masters in Fasteners, Fabory’s demonstrated expertise in fastener products in MRO and OEM applications will benefit all of our businesses,” Carruthers said. “We look forward to supporting Fabory’s plans for expansion and working together to continue enhancing our fastener expertise around the world.”

“We are delighted to join Grainger, the world’s leading distributor of industrial supplies with demonstrated supply chain expertise, culture of service and an unmatched product offering,” van den Belt said. “Our ability to leverage each other’s strengths will create a winning partnership to reach more customers with the best product offerings.”

W.W. Grainger Inc., with 2010 sales of US$7.2 billion, is North America’s leading broad line supplier of MRO products, with expanding operations in Asia and Latin America. It is the parent company of Canadian industrial distributor Acklands-Grainger Inc., Richmond Hill, ON. For more information about the company, visit www.grainger.com/investor.