Medco Supply Co. Joins Patterson Dental Stable

Multititle dental, veterinary, and rehabilitation products marketer Patterson Dental Co. on April 19 agreed to acquire Medco Supply Co., a $40 million multititle cataloger of sports medicine, first-aid supplies, and podiatry products. The all-cash transaction was expected to close in May.

St. Paul-based Patterson will operate the Medco titles within its AbilityOne Products Corp. division. The $1.88 billion Patterson acquired AbilityOne, which relies mostly on catalogs to sell rehab products, last year. Patterson’s dental and Webster Veterinary Supply businesses sell primarily through field sales reps who use annual catalogs as reference tools.

By placing the Medco catalogs — which include Medco Sports Medicine, Masune First Aid & Safety, and Surgical Supply Service — in the AbilityOne division, Patterson has itself “a compatible business serving similar markets,” says Rick Gluesenkamp, the company’s director of business development. The Medco catalogs “extend AbilityOne to markets with similar targeting to podiatry and sports medicine.”

Patterson acquired AbilityOne to consolidate the highly fragmented rehab products market, according to chairman/CEO Peter Frechette, “and our Medco acquisition represents the continuation of this strategy.” Frechette calls Medco “an excellent, solidly profitable company with a strong reputation in its targeted markets.

Gluesenkamp says that Patterson will continue to seek catalog acquisitions to further complement the AbilityOne unit, as well as direct sales businesses to supplement the Patterson Dental and Webster Veterinary Supply divisions.

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