Consolidation is continuing across the industrial supply chain with mergers and acquisitions (M&A) an essential lever to bolster growth, according to the Industrials Insider, an industry report released by Brown Gibbons Lang & Company (BGL). The competitive landscape remains highly fragmented, presenting opportunities to leverage scale efficiencies across broader portfolios and footprints.

Key findings in the report:

M&A remains a strategic priority for industrial distributors to retain and grow market share as customers increasingly seek one-stop suppliers that can offer value-added solutions with technology, product line, and geographic expansion in focus to enhance competitive positioning.

Private equity investment in industrial distribution is being driven by an accommodative lending market, record fund raising, and financial sponsors drawn to the sector’s safety and fragmentation. Audax Private Equity (EIS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Genuine Parts Company), Littlejohn & Co. (Industrial Distribution Business of Kaman Corporation), Bain Capital Private Equity (Imperial Dade), and One Rock Capital Partners (Nexeo Plastics) are among the funds to recently announce platform acquisitions in the sector.

Corporate buyers are making headlines with robust acquisition pipelines, including industry players Applied Technologies (FCX Performance), Sonepar (North Coast Electric Company), Airgas (Tech Air), and Univar (Nexeo Solutions), which have completed large-scale transactions. Accretive tuck-in acquisitions also present meaningful drivers of growth, illustrated by serial acquirers such as Ferguson Enterprises, Watsco, Foundation Building Materials, and Brenntag AG, which are actively consolidating the market.

Download PDF