BOSTON – Advent International, the global private equity firm, today announced that it has closed a significant majority investment in Morrison Supply Company, the fourth largest distributor of plumbing and HVAC supplies in the United States. Morrison Supply will utilize Advent’s strong expertise in the industrial sector to expand its presence in the $60 billion U.S. plumbing and HVAC supply market and enhance its leadership position in the Southwestern U.S.
Advent Operating Partner Chip Hornsby will join the company as chief executive officer and will lead Morrison in the next phase of its expansion. Mr. Hornsby is the former chief executive officer of Wolseley plc (LSE: WOS), the largest building products distributor in the world with over $20 billion in global sales. Commenting on the transaction, Mr. Hornsby stated: “Morrison’s core strength is the quality of its people. And we believe this transaction will be very positive for our employees, as the company’s expansion should lead to new and exciting opportunities for our people and their families. Equally, our vendor partners and customers stand to gain from our growth and financial strength.”
Scott Sangalli, Morrison’s former chief executive officer and principal owner for the past 25 years, will continue as an investor in the Company. Said Mr. Sangalli: “With Advent’s support, Chip’s leadership and our great people, Morrison Supply has a rock-solid foundation upon which to build its existing business and continue to provide industry leading service to our customers. Morrison will also be in a position to acquire businesses and broaden its footprint. After weathering the historic construction downturn, we can now look forward to a period of expansion.”
Darrell Hawkins and Charlie Allen will continue in their roles as president and chief financial officer, respectively. Additionally, they will remain investors in the company and deeply committed to its ongoing success and expansion.
Advent Operating Partner Wes Clark will join the company as non-executive chairman. Mr. Clark is the former president and chief operating officer of W.W. Grainger (NYSE: GWW), a leading $8 billion distributor of industrial maintenance and repair supplies. He also served as chief executive officer of Morton Salt, the largest U.S. producer and distributor of sodium derivatives.
Advent has been an active investor in building products, distribution and construction supply for over 20 years, and has invested in more than 20 companies in these sectors. In its most recent transaction in the space, Advent acquired Bradco Supply in 2008 and subsequently merged it with ABC Supply in 2010 to create the largest U.S. distributor of roofing supplies and complementary exterior building materials.
“Scott Sangalli and the rest of the team at Morrison have established a powerful franchise in the Southwest, and we are excited to build on their strong position,” said Stephen Hoffmeister, managing director at Advent. “We will support the company’s growth with our capital, resources and sector experience.”