MSC Industrial Direct Buys Rutland Tool & Supply

Maintenance repair and operations (MRO) supplier MSC Industrial Direct has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Rutland Tool & Supply Co., for $11 million in cash. The deal is expected to close during the fourth quarter of calendar 2010.

Founded in 1955, Rutland Tool & Supply Co. is a subsidiary of MRO supplier Lawson Products. (Airgas, a supplier of medical gases and industrial supplies, sold the assets and operations of Rutland Tool. for $15 million to Lawson Products in November 2005.)

Rutland Tool distributes metalworking tools and machine parts to industrial machine and metalworking shops, as well as maintenance and repair facilities. The company recorded revenue of $33.7 million in 2009.

MSC Industrial Direct president/CEO David Sandler said Whittier, CA-based Rutland will add to MSC’s presence in the region. “We expect that this acquisition will enhance our West Coast build-out strategy and provide the opportunity for accelerated market share gains and further growth in sales and profitability.”

MSC has acquired complementary products and new geography, “and there should be some back-end cost synergies,” says Lee Helman, managing director at investment firm Financo. “On the surface, it looks like a strategic buy.”

Melville, NY-based MSC ranked #20 on this year’s MCM 100, with $1.4 billion in sales for 2009. The company acquired metalworking tools cataloger J&L Industrial in 2006; last year it completed its transitioning of the J&L brand to MSC Industrial Supply—Metalworking’s Best Choice.