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Sonepar Goes Big in MRO with Deal to Acquire Industrial Distribution Group

Oct. 3, 2014
Charles Lingenfelter, IDG president and CEO and the company’s 1,365 associates will be joining Sonepar.

Sonepar made a big move into the industrial MRO market with the purchase of Industrial Distribution Group (IDG), Belmont, N.C., one of the larger industrial distributors in North America, with sales of approximately $700 million. On the same day that it announced the IDG purchase, Sonepar also posted on its website that it had acquired Routeco Group Holdings Ltd., the largest automation distributor in the United Kingdom (see article on page 4).

Founded in 1997 and operating in the industrial distribution, integrated supply solutions and energy distribution niches, IDG serves its customers from 42 branches in the U.S. and over 170 on-site customer locations in North America, Asia, and Europe. The Sonepar release said IDG is the largest privately owned industrial MRO distributor in the United States. Modern Distribution Management ranks the company as the 22nd largest industrial distributor in the United States.

Sonepar had already been active in the industrial supply/MRO market through its Hagemeyer business unit as well as the MRO activities of several of its electrical distribution businesses. In the IDG release, Dave Gabriel, CEO Sonepar North America, said, “The acquisition of IDG strengthens our position in the Integrated Supply and MRO space enhancing our North American footprint and reach. The combined synergies between Hagemeyer North America and IDG in the Integrated Supply, Industrial Distribution and Technical Services areas will allow us to expand our portfolio to better meet the needs of our customers.”

Charles Lingenfelter, IDG president and CEO and the company’s 1,365 associates will be joining Sonepar. According to information on the IDG website, Lingenfelter was named IDG president and CEO in Nov. 2005. He has held executive posts within the company since 1988, when he served as president of The Distribution Group, one of the companies that merged to form Industrial Distribution Group in 1997. Lingenfelter also has manufacturing experience and held various sales and marketing positions with Ingersoll-Rand Co., including V.P. of sales and marketing for the company’s Tools Group.

IDG has been an active acquirer itself in recent years and recently bought Tommy White Supply Co. (TWS), Midland, Texas, and the Industrial Division of Duncan Co., Minneapolis. TWS supplies and services customers in the Permian Basin, one of the most active oil and natural gas producing regions in North America. Duncan Industrial distributes industrial supplies, including cutting tools, abrasives and metal-removal products, in the Upper Midwest.