Ace Hardware Corp. has acquired Emery-Waterhouse, a 170-year-old distributor of lumber, paint and other industrial products.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to bring scale and an expanded assortment of product offerings to the two hardware companies. Ace, based in Oak Brook, Ill., offers electrical and plumbing supplies, as well as garden equipment, hand tools and power tools.
Portland, Maine-based Emery-Waterhouse is set to become a majority-owned subsidiary of Ace Hardware. The company's brand will continue operations as a separate business that provides wholesale distribution services to independent retailers. Chief executive Steve Frawley will remain with company, along with chief operating officer Don Dickson.
Emery-Waterhouse’s long-time majority owner, Charlie Hildreth, will also continue to work with the company.
This is the first deal for Ace since December 2012, when it purchased the 85 store Westlake Hardware chain for $88 million from a Minneapolis-based private equity firm, Goldner Hawn Johnson and Morrison, which had owned the company since 2006. Westlake joined Ace Hardware after it started in 1905 as simply Westlake Hardware in Huntsville, Mo.
Similar to Emery-Waterhouse, Ace stated at the time that Westlake would be operating as a wholly owned subsidiary with management remaining in place.