MORSCO To Acquire Waterworks Distributor Fortiline

Concord, NC-based Fortiline will continue to operate as a standalone company, responsible for waterworks supplies distribution inside of MORSCO.

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FORT WORTH, TX MORSCO, a Fort Worth-based distributor of commercial and residential HVAC equipment and pipe, valves and fittings, announced Wednesday it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Concord, NC-based Fortiline Waterworks — a portfolio company of CHS Capital LLC and one of the largest waterworks distributors in the U.S. — as its waterworks distribution platform.

MORSCO, a portfolio company of global private equity firm Advent International, is a distributor of commercial and residential plumbing and HVAC supplies. MORSCO has 140+ branch locations, more than $1 billion in sales and over 2,000 associates in 12 states. Advent will make a significant new equity investment to support the acquisition.

Mike Swedick will remain President and CEO of Fortiline, which will continue to operate as a standalone company, responsible for waterworks supplies distribution inside of MORSCO.

Chip Hornsby, CEO of MORSCO, commented, “We are extremely excited to be partnering with Fortiline. Since the purchase of Morrison Supply Company in November 2011, our intent was to become a world-class distributor in plumbing, HVAC and waterworks. In less than five years, we have expanded coast to coast through acquisitions and organic growth primarily in plumbing and HVAC. The addition of Fortiline as a standalone waterworks business under the leadership of Mike Swedick further demonstrates our commitment to the waterworks industry.”

Fortiline Waterworks is one of the largest wholesale distributors of underground water, sewer and storm utility products in the U.S. Founded in 1997, Fortiline distributes more than 75,000 SKUs to a diverse base of more than 4,500 contractor, developer and municipal customers through a network of 42 branches in 12 states in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest.

“On behalf of all the employees at Fortiline, we are extremely proud and excited to have signed an agreement to join the MORSCO family,” said Mike Swedick, Fortiline President and CEO. “Our experience in dealing with the management team at MORSCO has been wonderful; I have learned that we have similar cultures and values, which will make this transition seamless. We very much look forward to continuing to build our waterworks platform while collaborating with the leadership team at MORSCO to build a world class distribution company.”

The closing of the Transaction, which is expected to occur by Oct. 31, is subject to various conditions, including the expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. Until the consummation of the Transaction, MORSCO and Fortiline will remain independent companies.

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