While capital spending and hiring will likely remain subdued through the remainder of 2020 and into 2021 in the industrial supply sector due to COVID-19 business impacts, spending on merger & acquisition activity appears to have rebounded nicely over the past couple months.
There was hardly any M&A news for Industrial Distribution to cover during April through June amid the worst of the pandemic's business impacts, but things began to pick up in June and July, and August and September are essentially back to the amount of announcements that we were accustomed to seeing in this continuously consolidating market.
September began with a flurry of announcements on Sept. 1, including major acquisitions for Motion INdustries and Lawson Products. Things then remained pretty quiet until the past few days, bookended by Snap-on buying industrial vending supplier AutoCrib.
Nevertheless, given the COVID-19 pandemic's lasting impacts on the US and world economy, coupled with a presidential election just two months away, it's likely that M&A activity will remain subdued through the remainder of the year. But August was certainly better than what we at ID expected as far as the amount and size of activity, so perhaps we'll see a decent amount of excitement down the stretch of 2020 after all.
Below, see what we covered in September, in chronological order of their announcement:
- AFC Industries Acquires Master Distribution - announced Aug. 27
- Motion Industries Stays Aggressive, Acquires Motion Control/Automation Distributor - announced Sept. 1
- Lawson Products Boosts MRO Scale, Acquires Partsmaster - announced Sept. 1
- Rust-Oleum Acquires Abrasives Supplier, Names New President - announced Sept. 1
- MRO Master Distributor Industrial Valco Acquires Beric Valves - announced Sept. 1
- Brady Industries Acquires Baltimore's Fitch Co. - announced Sept. 1
- Ingersoll Rand Acquires France-Based Pump Maker - announced Sept. 1
- American Welding & Gas Acquires Bestway Welding Supply - announced Sept. 1
- Zep Acquires Fellow Sanitation Products Supplier EcoClear - announced Sept. 10
- Cleveland-Cliffs Buys ArcelorMittal's US Business for $1.4B - announced Sept. 28
- Atlas Copco Acquires Michigan Metrology Supplier for $69M - announced Sept. 28
- Snap-on Buys AutoCrib for $36 Million - announced Sept. 29
ID covered 12 industrial supply M&A announcements during September, compared to 11 in August and eight in July.
With the US presidential election just five weeks away, we'll see if the renewed healthy pace of M&A announcement continues or goes conservative to begin 2020's fourth quarter.
Despite our best efforts, there’s always deals announced that either wasn’t on our radar, or that weren’t made public. But, this list should provide a good idea of most M&A activity applicable to the industrial supply market.
If your company has M&A news to share, contact ID editor Mike Hockett at [email protected].