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Electrical wholesaler purchased by private investors

BY Brae Canlen

Richmond Electric Supply Company, Inc. has been sold to RESCO Acquisition, an investment group comprised of RESCO’s recently appointed CEO, Mike Bourn, and other private investors for an undisclosed sum.

Darryl Harman, who founded the company in 1983, was the seller. Matrix Capital Markets Group served as the financial adviser to RESCO Acquisitions.

RESCO operates as a full-line, stocking electrical wholesale distributor that serves residential and commercial contractors, the government and military, and industrial and OEM markets both on a regional and national scale. RESCO is headquartered in Richmond, Va., with additional locations in Norfolk and Farmville, Va., which opened in the fall of this year. 

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Sherwin-Williams sues Wooster Brush

BY Ken Clark

Sherwin-Williams says its packaging is being infringed by Wooster Brush Co. and has sued the competitor to cease and desist. 

An article in Crain’s Cleveland Business describes the lawsuit brought by Sherwin-Williams against Wooster Brush.

Sherwin-Williams claims that Wooster Brush Co. copied its packaging. Since around 2000, Sherwin-Williams’ Brush Keeper trade dress has a golden-yellow background, an American flag image and a color-coded stripe, indicating the type of brush in the package.

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Mohawk purchases global tile manufacturer

BY Brae Canlen

Carpet manufacturer Mohawk Industries has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Marazzi Group, a worldwide maker and marketer of ceramic tile, for $1.5 billion in cash and equity. The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2013. 

The Marazzi Group is held by the Marazzi family and two private equity funds — Permira and Private Equity Partners. It operates in most major geographies, including Russia, the United States, Italy, France,  Spain, China and Mexico. Marazzi’s 2011 revenues were approximately $1.16 billion.

Marazzi distributes ceramic tile in more than 100 countries through a strong international sales force, which will increase Mohawk’s worldwide growth.

Marazzi has the No. 1 position in the Russian ceramic market, the announcement said. The company operates two manufacturing sites and 21 regional distribution centers. Marazzi owns and franchises more than 300 retail stores that carry only Marazzi products. About 50% of the Marazzi Russian business is sold directly to end users, and the retail advertising done by the stores has created a strong consumer brand

In the United States, Marazzi’s products are sold through independent distributors, home centers and a few company service centers. Leveraging the combined manufacturing expertise, design capabilities and distribution systems, the company hopes to grow its ceramic business.

Jeff Lorberbaum, Mohawk’s chairman and CEO, said in a prepared statement: "This acquisition represents the next step in the expansion of Mohawk’s global business and will make Mohawk a stronger company. We found Marrazi attractive because of its solid management team and leadership positions in the United States, Russia and Europe. Marazzi’s differentiated products, leading-edge design, efficient manufacturing and exemplary service have created one of the most valued brands in the industry. We have many opportunities to improve results by leveraging best practices, operational expertise, product innovation and manufacturing assets."

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