School Specialty Scoops Up ABC School Supply

Aug 15, 2002 9:30 PM  By

Greenville, WI–On Aug. 15, School Specialty acquired $48 million ABC School Supply, which markets early childhood products to pre-K through K-2 audiences. The transaction is priced at approximately $43 million, comprised of $31 million in cash and $12 million in assumed debt, and is expected to close within the next few days.

ABC, which competed with School Specialty’s Childcraft division, sells children’s furniture to schools and institutions. It has a 22-person sales force and mails 1.2 million catalogs annually. The combination of ABC and Childcraft makes early childhood the largest specialty company and fastest growing business at School Specialty.

According to School Specialty, ABC has penetration in the Georgia, Florida, Texas, and California markets, while Childcraft has penetration in the Northeast and Midwest. Both companies have wood products manufacturing plants and distribution centers that can be combined. The margin expansion from combined purchasing power and possible pricing opportunities also no doubt sweetened the deal.