ID's August M&A Recap: Another Solid Month for a Revitalized Market

While trailing the activity level of July and June, it was still a healthy month given the major factors hammering industrial suppliers right now.

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The calendar has turned to September, which means it's officially football season and cooler temperatures are on the way. And while fall is my favorite time of year, the US manufacturing sector is about to enter it with a myriad of negative factors weighing against it.

  • Automotive manufacturers are still facing a critical shortage of semiconductors that's leaving the production many vehicles unfinished and some plants shut down altogether or at reduced operation — meaning less demand there for industrial supplies.
  • Manufacturers and distributors of all types are dealing with a historic labor crisis to the point where companies like Grainger and Fastenal have found it challenging to fully staff their warehouses and plant floors. Contentious decisions over whether to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations certainly plays a factor here, and with factory & warehouse workers more valuable than ever, such emboldened employees have more motivation than ever to miss work — evident in high absenteeism across the manufacturing sector — or demand higher wages.
  • Material shortages have caused historically high material prices in many markets, leaving manufacturers and distributors to have to pass along at least part of the buck to the next link in the supply chain. On Aug. 30, industrial adhesives maker H.B. Fuller announced an 11 percent surcharge tied to offsetting higher materials cost.

Despite those factors, August was another solid month for mergers & acquisitions activity in the industrial supply sector. We at Industrial Distribution covered 18 such announcements directly tied to industrial manufacturers or distributors last month, and while it trailed July's robust 22 items and June's 19, it was still within what I would consider 'healthy' range for this market, as most pre-COVID months saw around 20 M&A news items on ID.

Below, see what we covered during August in reverse chronological order of their company announcement. This includes announcements of completed or pending acquisitions impacting distributors relevant to the industrial products space in North America, as well as other news and announcements that could lead to or reject an acquisition.:

See our July M&A recap here

See our June M&A recap here

Of course, despite our best efforts, there’s always deals announced that either weren’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 news to share, M&A or otherwise, contact me at at mhockett@ien.com.

As always, the best way to stay on top of industrial supply M&A news is to make sure you're subscribed to ID's free daily e-newsletter.

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