Grainger Announces Agreement to Divest Grainger China
CHICAGO, June 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Grainger (NYSE: GWW), the leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) products serving businesses and institutions, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its distribution business in China, Grainger China LLC (Grainger China), to a purchaser owned by the Grainger China management team and Sinovation Ventures, a China-based venture capital firm.
This divestiture will better enable Grainger to focus on its key businesses and geographies. To support this portfolio, the company will maintain its Global Sourcing operations based in China. Grainger's Global Sourcing provides the company with private label products in categories that include safety, cleaning, electrical, motors and tools.
"I applaud the Grainger China team members for doing a remarkable job to drive profitable growth over the years," said DG Macpherson, Chairman and CEO of Grainger. "The management team is strong and well positioned for even greater success moving forward. Grainger continues to have a relentless focus on providing customer value through our high-touch and endless assortment offerings, and doing so in the geographies that make the most sense for us."
This transaction is not subject to any financing condition but is subject to the standard regulatory approvals. The deal is expected to close later this year.
Safe Harbor Statement
All statements in this communication, other than those relating to historical facts, are "forward-looking statements." Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by their use of terms such as "anticipate," "estimate," "believe," "expect," "could," "forecast," "may," "intend," "plan," "predict," "project" "will" or "would" and similar terms and phrases, including references to assumptions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about future strategic plans and future financial and operating results. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, among others: the unknown duration and economic, operational and financial impacts of the global outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19 pandemic) and the actions taken or contemplated by governmental authorities or others in connection with the pandemic on the company's businesses, its employees, customers and suppliers, including the uncertain duration of mandated shut-downs for our customers and suppliers, changes in our customers' product needs, our suppliers' inability to meet unprecedented demand for COVID-19 related products, the potential for government action to allocate or direct products to certain customers which may cause disruption in our relationships with other customers, and disruption caused by business responses to COVID-19, including working remote arrangements, which may create increased vulnerability to cybersecurity incidents; higher product costs or other expenses; a major loss of customers; loss or disruption of sources of supply; increased competitive pricing pressures; failure to develop or implement new technology initiatives or business strategies; failure to adequately protect intellectual property or successfully defend against infringement claims; fluctuations or declines in the company's gross profit percentage; the company's responses to market pressures; the outcome of pending and future litigation or governmental or regulatory proceedings, including with respect to wage and hour, anti-bribery and corruption, environmental, advertising, consumer protection, pricing (including disaster or emergency declaration pricing statutes), product liability, safety or compliance, or privacy and cybersecurity matters; investigations, inquiries, audits and changes in laws and regulations; failure to comply with laws, regulations and standards; government contract matters; disruption of information technology or data security systems involving us or third parties on which we depend; general industry, economic, market or political conditions; general global economic conditions including tariffs and trade issues and policies; currency exchange rate fluctuations; market volatility, including volatility or price declines of the company's common stock; commodity price volatility; labor shortages; facilities disruptions or shutdowns; higher fuel costs or disruptions in transportation services; pandemic diseases or viral contagions; natural and other catastrophes; unanticipated and/or extreme weather conditions; loss of key members of management; our ability to operate, integrate and leverage acquired businesses; changes in effective tax rates; changes in credit ratings or outlook; the company's incurrence of indebtedness and other factors which can be found in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent periodic reports filed on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q, which are available on our Investor Relations website. Forward-looking statements are given only as of the date of this communication and we disclaim any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
W.W. Grainger, Inc., with 2019 sales of $11.5 billion, is North America's leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) products, with operations primarily in North America, Japan and Europe.
SOURCE W.W. Grainger, Inc.