Applied Industrial Technologies Makes 4th Automation Acquisition in 2 Years

Applied has acquired Rockford, IL-based R.R. Floody, further illustrating the distributor's investment in the automation market.


Fresh off sharing strong April-June sales & profit growth in its 2021 Q4 earnings report two days earlier, Applied Industrial Technologies announced Thursday that it has acquired an automation products distributor in northern Illinois.

UnnamedApplied — No. 8 on Industrial Distribution's 2020 Big 50 List — said it has acquired Rockford, IL-based R.R. Floody Company, which it describes as a provider of automation products, services and engineered solutions focused on machine vision, mobile and collaborative robotics, motion control, material handling and digital capabilities.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We are pleased to announce the addition of the R.R. Floody Company, which further enhances our growing automation offering focused on next-generation technologies," said Neil Schrimsher, Applied president and CEO. "Floody has a strong presence across the US Midwest market, and brings valuable and innovative capabilities in advanced facility automation with a focus on machine vision. Floody’s engineered solutions and technical expertise align with our overall strategy, and provide further momentum to our scaling automation position into early fiscal 2022. We welcome Floody to Applied and look forward to their contributions going forward.”

Floody operates out of its single location in Rockford with 18 associations. The company primarily serves customers in markets of consumer packaging, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, medical technology and general industrial.

A Google Street view of R.R. Floody's sinigle location in Rockford, IL.A Google Street view of R.R. Floody's sinigle location in Rockford, IL.Google Maps

It's just the latest of several recent automation acquisitions for Applied — which has long been known as a distributor of products for use in industrial motion, fluid power, fluid power, flow control and maintenance supplies — in the automation space, and marks the the company's fourth bolt-on in a two-year span. This past January, it announced the acquisition of Norwood, MA-based Gibson Engineering Company, which gained Applied a single location and 40 employees. In October 2020, Applied announced the addition of Marietta, GA-based Advanced Control Solutions, which gained the company four locations and 43 employees. And in August 2019, Applied announced the acquisition of Tualatin, OR-based Olympus Controls Corp., which gained the company five locations across the western US and 80+ employees.

In its Q4 earnings report on Aug. 17, Applied said that, in the April-June period, the company's organic automation sales were up 30 percent year-over-year and that its M&A pipeline in that segment would remain active into the company's early fiscal year 2022.

Applied's Q4 earnings report showed that its Q4 overall sales grew 23.6 percent year-over-year, with organic sales up 19.8 percent. Sequentially, total sales were up 6.5 percent from Q3. Q4 operating profit of $81 million soared 72.6 percent and total net profit of $59 million essentially doubled the $30 million of a year earlier. For the full year, Applied's total 2021 fiscal sales were $3.24 billion, essentially flat at down 0.3 percent from 2020, with organic sales down 1.8 percent. Operating profit of $205 million dwarfed 2020's $89 million, while total 2021 net profit of $145 million likewise dwarfed 2020's $24 million.

More in Mergers & Acquisitions