Wilmar goes private

Moorestown, NJ-based maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) cataloger Wilmar is the latest example of a business-to-business cataloger serving as the centerpiece of a private investor’s expansion. The $192.6 million Wilmar is merging with Boston-based Parthenon Capital and a group of investors in a transaction valued at $300 million. Wilmar, which was publicly traded, will become privately held after the deal closes in May.

The Wilmar deal follows the September acquisition of business greeting cards and office supplies marketer Executive Greetings by private investor Behrman Capital and the December purchase of Norwalk, CT-based computer cataloger Micro Warehouse by investment firm Freeman Spogli.

“Parthenon’s objective is to use Wilmar as a platform to build a larger distribution organization through internal growth and acquisitions,” says William Sanford, Wilmar’s senior vice president/chief financial officer. “Parthenon will expand the line of products offered through new markets, additional geographic expansion, and electronic commerce.” The company would not comment on specifics.

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