Audax Closes Carve-Out of EIS

Audax Private Equity has closed its acquisition of EIS, the electrical specialties group of Motion Industries, from publicly traded Genuine Parts Company.

EIS is a distributor of process materials, production supplies, specialty wire and cable, and fabricated parts to more than 20,000 customers in the electrical OEM, motor, transformer, generator repair and assembly markets.

The company has more than 100,000 SKUs and operates 38 branches and 4 fabrication facilities. Atlanta-based EIS, led by CEO Larry Griffin, was founded in 1950 and acquired by Genuine Parts in June 1998 (www.eis-inc.com).

“We are excited to partner with Audax as we embark on our next phase of growth,” said Mr. Griffin. “Our independent structure will allow us to devote renewed energy on better serving our core end markets as we look to expand both organically and through strategic acquisitions. Audax provides expertise, resources, and valued experience in the distribution industry that will help us achieve these objectives.”

“We believe EIS is a quality organization with an experienced management team, loyal customer base, strong partnerships and a proven M&A platform that will complement our portfolio of industry-leading companies,” said Don Bramley, a managing director of Audax. “Audax will provide the expertise and resources to support the EIS leadership team as it continues to broaden its customer base, expand its offerings to adjacent markets and enhance service and support programs for the benefit of all EIS stakeholders.”

Genuine Parts Company (NYSE: GPC) is a distributor of automotive replacement parts in the US, Canada, Mexico, Australasia, France, the UK, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and Belgium.  The company operates through three divisions: Automotive Parts, a distributor of more than 450,000 automotive replacement parts, accessory items and service items sold under the NAPA brand throughout North America, and under the Repco brand in Australia and New Zealand; Motion Industries, a distributor of more than 5.6 million industrial replacement parts and related supplies to more than 150,000 MRO and OEM customers throughout North America; and S.P. Richards Company, a distributor of more than 55,000 general office products to over 4,300 resellers and distributors throughout the US and Canada. Genuine Parts Company had total revenues in 2018 of more than $18 billion. The company was founded in 1925 and is led by CEO Paul Donahue (www.genpt.com).

“The sale of EIS represents the further streamlining of our operations and another step forward in our strategy to optimize our portfolio and strengthen our focus on sustainable, value-driving initiatives,” said Mr. Donahue. “Given Audax’s experience in leading industrial companies to their next stages of growth, I am confident that it is the right partner for EIS, and we look forward to working with Audax to ensure a smooth, successful transition for our employees, customers and supply base.”

Audax invests in middle-market companies that have from $8 million to $50 million in EBITDA and enterprise values of $50 million to $400 million. Sectors of interest include business and consumer services; energy; healthcare; technology, media and telecom; and industrials including chemicals, infrastructure and building materials. Audax has offices in Boston and San Francisco (www.audaxgroup.com).

J.P. Morgan was the financial advisor to Genuine Parts Company on this transaction.

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | October 9, 2019

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