Wayne, Pennsylvania-based AD and SafetyNetwork (formerly SMG) announced that on Feb. 20, SafetyNetwork’s independent members overwhelmingly voted in favor to merge the two groups. The transaction was expected to close April 1. The merger is part of AD’s commitment to ensuring a strong future for independent distributors, the buying and marketing group noted.

The partnership will create the AD Safety Network Division, its only safety-dedicated division focused on growth of independent distributors specializing in the safety market. Marisol Fernandez, AD’s president of the Industrial and Safety — U.S. Division, will also lead the new safety division.