Lab Safety Supply Acquires Rand Materials Handling Equipment

The Lab Safety Supply subsidiary of maintenance, repair, and operations supplies giant W.W. Grainger announced on Jan. 31 that it is acquiring the assets of Rand Materials Handling Equipment for approximately $16 million. It expects to close the deal within the week.

Like the Lab Safety Supply brand, the $16 million Rand sells industrial storage and safety supplies via print catalogs and the Web. But Grainger spokesperson Robb Kristopher says that the customer overlap between Rand and Lab Safety is only about 10%.

“There is not a big customer overlap, so it makes sense for us to acquire Rand’s customer lists, assets and names,” Kristopher says. “This gives us the opportunity to cross-market our catalogs over many different segments.”

In that sense, the acquisition is similar to Lab Safety’s purchases of agricultural maintenance supplier Ben Meadows in February 2001, shop and agricultural maintenance supplies merchant Gempler’s in April 2003, and AW Direct, a $28 million direct marketing of equipment for towing companies and service stations, in January 2005. The Lab Safety division had sales of $336.7 million for fiscal 2004.

Pawtucket, RI-based Rand will operate out of Lab Safety Supply’s Janesville, WI, facility.

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