Grainger, North America's leading industrial distributor, on July 10 announced that its direct marketing subsidiary, Lab Safety Supply Inc. (LSS), has acquired substantially all of the assets of Highsmith Inc. located in Fort Atkinson, Wis. Highsmith is a direct marketing leader in the library equipment, furniture and supplies market. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

 

"We are pleased to be adding Highsmith to our specialty catalog group," said Larry Loizzo, president of Lab Safety Supply. "They have built a solid brand position in the library and school supplies market over the past 50 years; we intend to build upon it."

 

The integration of Highsmith into LSS's operations should be completed over the next six months. The acquisition is expected to add $20 million to 30 million to LSS's sales in 2008. The transaction is expected to breakeven in the first 12 months; due to the timing and anticipated transition costs, the 2008 impact is expected to be dilutive by $.02 to $.03 per share.

 

LSS provides safety and other products to more than 800,000 customers in North America. It reaches them through a variety of branded catalogs, flyers and Web sites targeted to specific niche markets. Customers represent all sizes and a range of sectors, including manufacturing, government and agriculture.

 

W.W. Grainger Inc., with 2007 sales of $6.4 billion, is the leading broad line supplier of facilities maintenance products serving businesses and institutions in the United States, Canada, Mexico and China. Through a highly integrated network including more than 600 branches, 18 distribution centers and multiple Web sites, Grainger's employees help customers get the job done.