Cutting Tool Distributor Diamond Blade Warehouse Privately Acquired

Granite Creek Capital Partners and the former chairman of Illinois Tool Works partnered in acquiring the Chicago area distributor.

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CHICAGO — Granite Creek Capital Partners, a private investment firm based in Chicago, announced June 8 that it has partnered with Canterbury Ventures, LLC, the investment arm of James M. Farrell and W. James Farrell, to acquire Diamond Blade Warehouse, LLC. DBW is a distributor of construction cutting tool consumables, providing professional-grade replacement parts for the cutting and grinding equipment used for a variety of applications including concrete, masonry, asphalt, pavers, tile, granite, marble and commercial flooring.

Upon the closing of the acquisition, W. James Farrell was appointed Chairman of the Diamond Blade Warehouse Board of Directors. Farrell is the Retired Chairman of Illinois Tool Works, a multi-national manufacturer of highly engineered fasteners, components, assemblies and systems. While leading ITW to record growth and profits, Farrell became the most public voice of The Pareto Principle, commonly referred to as the 80/20 Rule. Farrell’s son, James (Jim) Farrell has been appointed CEO of DBW. The younger Farrell has been applying the 80/20 operating strategy to drive superior operational efficiencies and investment returns while serving in executive roles at several private equity portfolio companies.

Headquartered in Vernon Hills, IL, DBW has the largest product line in the diamond tool industry and more than 30,000 active customers in the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Granite Creek’s investment in Diamond Blade Warehouse was made from its $200 million fund, Granite Creek FlexCap II, L.P. Granite Creek targets investments in companies engaged in manufacturing, business services, healthcare, and agribusiness. The investment team plays an active role with the leadership of its portfolio companies to support growth, strategy and financial development.

“We could not have envisioned better partners in the acquisition and oversight of an industrial business than the Farrell father-son tandem. By applying the 80/20 operating principles to Diamond Blade Warehouse, we believe that the business will be positioned to expand into new geographies and increase its rate of growth,” said Peter Lehman, Co-Founder and Partner at Granite Creek Capital Partners, L.L.C. “DBW’s brands, product catalog, highly-knowledgeable customer service advisors and rapid fulfillment capabilities have been the backbone behind 35 years of success.”

“Granite Creek has been by our side every step of the way,” said Jim Farrell, CEO of Diamond Blade Warehouse. “As we plan for Diamond Blade Warehouse’s growth, we are fortunate to have supportive capital partners and an all-star employee team that spends every day advising our customers on how to save money on their consumables while maximizing their jobsite efficiencies.”

Founded in 1987, Diamond Blade Warehouse is a leading direct seller of a full range of diamond cutting tool products for a variety of applications. The company’s 30,000 active customers rely on DBW for diamond blades, core bits, and cup wheels for cutting concrete, asphalt, granite, tile, marble, porcelain, brick and more. The company’s products are used to cut and finish a variety of materials and end markets including concrete and masonry, concrete pavers and hard brick, tuck-pointing, tile, granite, and marble.

Founded in 2005, Granite Creek Capital Partners, L.L.C. is a Chicago-based private investment firm focused on providing capital and operational resources to lower middle market companies engaged in manufacturing, business services, healthcare, and agribusiness.

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