The latest round of acquisition activity goes to Ferguson Enterprises. The Newport News, Va.-based distribution giant has signed a letter of intent to acquire Thrall Distribution of Loves Park, Ill., and completed the purchase of Midwest Pipe & Supply Co. of Columbus, Ohio.
In a telephone interview with Supply House Times, Thrall President Steve Cosgrove attributed Ferguson's interest in his company to its leadership position in the Midwestern industrial pipe, valves and fittings market. He noted that the companies already share several operational philosophies, such as a hub-and-spoke distribution strategy and an emphasis on training for employees. He expects the present management team to stay in place after the deal is finalized, probably in early August.
"This ownership change will allow Thrall to compete much more aggressively for national and, in fact, international business," Cosgrove said. "We're very excited about what that means for the future of our employees."
Specializing in waterworks and underground-utility products, Midwest Pipe & Supply also has locations in Cincinnati and Marietta, Ohio. The Columbus facility is now operating as a Ferguson branch, while the Cincinnati and Marietta locations are now satellites of that operation.
"The strength of Ferguson's coast-to-coast network will only enhance our ability to serve our customers and grow the underground-utility business in the Midwest," said Robert Murphy, former president of Midwest Pipe. He and Operations Manager Kevin M. Murphy remain as managers.