September 27, 2011, 5:17 PM

Grainger’s Canadian business unit grows through acquisition

Purchase of Quebec-based Fercomat follows the August acquisition of a supplier in the Netherlands.

Bill Briggs

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

Grainger grows by global acquisition.

Acklands-Grainger Inc., a Toronto business-to-business, store and web retailer of industrial, safety and fastener supplies, has acquired Fercomat Inc., an industrial supplies retailer and distributor based in Baie-Comeau, Quebec.

Acklands-Grainger, a subsidiary of W.W. Grainger Inc., No. 15 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, expects an incremental sales contribution of approximately C$3 million (US$2.9 million) from this acquisition over the next 12 months. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Acklands-Grainger has served Quebec for more than 74 years through 14 branch locations, a French web site and catalog, and offers more than 120,000 products. The acquisition of Fercomat is Acklands-Grainger’s third in Quebec in the past three years, continuing a focus on the province, Acklands-Grainger says.

In another recent acquisition, W.W. Grainger purchased Fabory, a Netherlands-based industrial products retailer that gave Grainger entry into Belgium, the Netherlands, and Central and Eastern Europe, CEO Jim Ryan told Wall Street analysts on an August conference call.

While Grainger will continue to rely on organic growth, the company plans to also focus on growing through product line, sales force and e-commerce expansion, Ryan told analysts.

The Fabory purchase price was 242 million euros ($328.8 million) and the deal closed Aug. 31, Ron Jadin, Grainger senior vice president and chief financial officer, told analysts. Fabory was founded in 1947, and 2011 sales were estimated to be approximately $350 million, Jadin said.

Fabory is a fastener specialist that carries about 80,000 products, including 50,000 fasteners, as well as 20,000 tools and 10,000 related industrial products. It sells products online at Fabory.nl as well as in the U.S. at Fabory.com.

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