Series of Deals Fattens Graco’s Reach


Spray-equipment manufacturer Graco Inc. is bulking up and branching out, spending $185 million in cash for four companies that will expand its geographical and industry footprint.

The Minneapolis, MN-based company just announced the $160 million acquisition of High Pressure Equipment Company (HiP) in Erie, PA, and the purchase of Kamas, UT-based White Knight Fluid Handling for an unspecified amount.

In addition, the company closed in December on the purchase of Brazil-based Multimaq-Pistolas e Equipamentos Para Pintura Ltd., a manufacturer and distributor of finishing products for the metal, leather and wood industries.

It also acquired Ontario-based GeoBlaster Equipment Service and Sales Inc., a manufacturer of wet abrasive equipment for coating removal and surface preparation—its second abrasives company purchase in a year.

The combined cash purchase price for the four new acquisitions is about $185 million, Graco said.

Those transactions followed another major acquisition earlier in the fall.

Aggregate sales and EBITDA of the four new businesses in the most recent 12-month period were about $50 million and $17 million, respectively, according to Graco.

Expanding & Diversifying

"The acquisitions we are announcing today support our strategic growth plans to expand into new markets and geographies, while diversifying our portfolio of precision products for critical applications," Patrick J. McHale, Graco's president and CEO, said in a statement.

Indeed, the company has been expanding past its spray equipment roots and core business, starting with the acquisition of Chesapeake, VA-based abrasive-blasting equipment manufacturer EcoQuip Inc. in December 2013.

Graco also completed the acquisition of UK-based Alco Valves, a manufacturer of high-pressure valves used in oil and gas and other industrial processes, early in the fourth quarter of 2014. The cash transaction closed for £72 million ($109.9 million USD).

Adding to UHP

HiP designs and manufactures valves, fittings and other flow control equipment for ultra-high-pressure environments, from 10,000 to 150,000 psi.

Graco is spending $160 million on Erie, PA-based High Pressure Equipment Company, which manufactures equipment for UHP environments, including the oil and gas industry.

Its products are used in numerous industrial applications, including infrastructure in the oil and natural gas industry and the waterjet cutting and cleaning industry, as well as industrial research programs for universities and corporations.

The company also maintains a production base in the UK. 

The acquisition of HiP is subject to customary regulatory review, and Graco expects the transaction to be completed in the first quarter of 2015. The acquisition includes "favorable tax election" that is expected to save Graco about $1.5 million per year in cash taxes through 2029, the company said.

Pump Expansion

White Knight manufactures air-operated double-bellows pumps, air-operated double-diaphragm pumps, and metering pumps used to transport chemicals and slurries in the production of semiconductors, solar panels and other electronics. Additionally, the company offers fluid management solutions, including pumping solutions used in chemical applications.

Graco expects to complete the White Knight acquisition this month. The former owners will receive "additional consideration" if the business achieves certain growth targets.


Tagged categories: Abrasives; Acquisitions; Asia Pacific; Construction chemicals; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Finance; Geo-Blaster; Graco; Latin America; North America; Spray equipment; Surface Preparation; UHP waterjetting

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