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Mergers and Acquisitions will Increase in Private Equity Firms for PPE in the Next 5 Years
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This research service covers mergers & acquisitions during the 2017 to 2021 time period. The report is broken down into manufacturers’ acquisitions, distributors’ acquisitions, and private equity firms’ acquisitions. Along with the analysis of the acquisitions, separate case studies have been provided for a few major companies.Achieving international footprints has been one of the driving growth factors of M&A activities in recent years. For example, MSA Safety acquired Bristol Uniforms to enhance its footprint in Europe and complement its existing portfolio of protective clothing from the acquisition of Globe Manufacturing in 2017. Similarly, Uvex Safety acquired majority stakes in HexArmor in 2021 to boost its presence in North America. End-user preference to procure all their PPE needs from one supplier has propelled the PPE manufacturers to go for portfolio-widening acquisitions, and become one-stop shops for consumers. For example, PIP’s acquisition of Paramount Safety in 2021 enhanced its product portfolio in the Oceania region and made it a complete head-to-toe supplier of PPE. In the competitive PPE industry, product differentiation is often regarded as the distinguishing factor for mergers & acquisitions. For example, Delta Plus’ acquisition of ERB Safety in 2020 not only enhanced its product portfolio, but also gave it the edge in product differentiation due to women-specific PPE.Larger PPE distributors became actively engaged in mergers & acquisitions and achieved vertical integration by enhancing manufacturing capabilities. For example, Bunzl acquired MCR Safety, Body Guard workwear, and Liberty Glove & Safety in between 2019 to 2021 to enhance its manufacturing capabilities in North America.PPE manufacturers are keen to acquire companies & brands to enhance their existing portfolios. For example, Rocky Brands consolidated its protective footwear portfolio & market share by acquiring Original Muck Boot Company, XTRATUF, Servus, NEOS, and Ranger brands from Honeywell in 2021. Similarly, SureWerx enhanced its existing presence in welding protection helmets by acquiring Jackson Safety and Wilson brands from Kimberly Clark Professional (KCP) in 2018. Regulatory norms are becoming stringent due to rising hazards in industries and this is expected to be one of the critical reasons why manufacturers look out for acquisitions for product development & safety offering improvement.COVID-19 pandemic exposed the vulnerabilities of the highly fragmented distribution system. Distributors with weak ERP systems, inefficient implementation of digital channel, and non-tech-savvy set-ups suffered and this provided the opportunity for larger distributors to acquire them and increase their reach. Major consolidations in the PPE distribution channel include Descours & Cabaud (MRO) acquisition of Van Ommeren in Netherland, Sintimex in Portugal & Nolle Nordhorn Germany in 2020. Similarly, Rubix (MRO) acquired Lerbs Gruppe to establish its foothold in Germany.Author: Anjan Kumar Roy
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