BlackHawk Industrial acquires 3 businesses: Tool Service, Tool Fabrication, Fluid Services

| BlackHawk Team

Tulsa, Oklahoma — BlackHawk Industrial, a leading distributor of industrial supplies, today announced the acquisition of three businesses: Tool Service Corporation, Tool Fabrication Corporation and Fluid Services Corporation.

  • Tool Service, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a leading industrial distributor serving the metalworking industry for over 60 years.

  • Tool Fabrication, also based in Milwaukee, has built high-performance special tools for world class manufacturers since 1970.

  • Fluid Service, based in Janesville, Wisconsin, is a leading provider of Turn-Key Fluid Management Programs that generate significant cost savings to metalworking customers, since 1985.

Tool Service, and its related companies, represents the fifth acquisition of strong local industrial distributors by BlackHawk Industrial and follows the recent acquisitions of Oklahoma-based Duncan Industrial, Arkansas-based Rogers Industrial, Nebraska-based Fuchs Machinery and Illinois-based Sanders Tools and Supplies. With this most recent acquisition, BlackHawk adds five additional branch locations and deepens its geographical footprint into the Central region of the U.S. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded over 60 years ago, Tool Service is one of the premier industrial distributors of cutting tools, abrasives, fluids and engineered product along with a wide variety of MRO supplies serving end user customers primarily in the Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota markets. Bill Scheller, CEO of BlackHawk Industrial, said: "We are excited to add the talented employees of Tool Service as part of our growing family of operating divisions within BlackHawk Industrial. Tool Service, led by Lisa Mauer, has a very long history of being a supplier of choice with strong customer and vendor relationships in its local marketplace. We believe that Tool Service will be further enhanced as part of Blackhawk Industrial as a result of additional operating scale, management resources and a broader product offering. We are also excited to share the combined resources of BlackHawk Industrial with the customer and vendor base of Tool Service."

Mr. Scheller also added: "BlackHawk will continue to look for additional U.S. based industrial distributors to acquire as we further build out our business. Tool Service is another great acquisition that follows our business strategy in so many ways: local leadership, strong technical and value added selling, focus on engineered products, deep supplier support, and a strong team culture. We believe that the 5 branches being added through Tool Service complement our recent acquisition of Sanders Tools and Supplies based in Illinois."

Tool Fabrication and Fluid Service are also exciting additions to BlackHawk Industrial. We believe that these two businesses and their service offerings are truly value adding and will be expanded to the entire BlackHawk Industrial customer base across the United States. Our customers will benefit from us offering these along with our other existing services, such as: band saw blade welding, precision grinding and tool sharpening, and comprehensive vending inventory management solutions.

BlackHawk Industrial will look to Lisa Mauer to continue to lead the Tool Service in the local market. Ms. Mauer will be a Senior Vice President and a valued member of the BlackHawk Industrial commercial leadership team on a go forward basis. Lisa is well respected in our industry and in the local Wisconsin community. Lisa currently serves on various Boards of Directors of several organizations in the Tool Service's local market area. Mr. Scheller said: "We support local distribution because they are a valuable part of their local communities. We will look to Lisa's continued leadership at Tool Service and in her ability to impact the local marketplace. Lisa has been tasked to grow the Tool Service division of Blackhawk Industrial both organically and through future acquisitions in its local marketplace. Our goal is to add new sales and customer service resources to deepen our penetration in the local markets."

As I looked at an ideal transition of ownership of our family-owned business at Tool Service, it was very important to me to find a true steward that would carry on what my family and our employees have built over the years. –Lisa Mauer

"As I looked at the culture and leadership style that BlackHawk is building, we believe it matches the direction we have found successful at Tool Service. In addition, I strongly believe in the vision and strategy of empowering the local commercial leaders, who intimately know their local marketplaces, customers, and employees. I am exciting to be joining BlackHawk Industrial in my leadership role. As a local distributor, I believe that my vendors, customers and the team at Tool Service Division will be well served under the support and structure of the BlackHawk Industrial leadership."

About BlackHawk Industrial

BlackHawk Industrial Distribution, Inc. was formed by Bill Scheller, former CEO of ORS-Nasco, and Brazos Private Equity Partners, LLC, a leading Dallas-based private equity firm, to implement an active buy-and-build strategy in the highly fragmented, $400 billion industrial distribution market.

Background of Bill Scheller

Bill was most recently CEO of ORS Nasco, one of the largest, pure wholesale distributors of industrial supplies in North America. Bill has held leadership positions for almost 30 years at companies such as Pillsbury, Patterson Companies, as well as ORS Nasco. During nine years at ORS Nasco, Bill provided the overall leadership and direction for the company in North America. ORS Nasco experienced significant revenue and earnings growth, improved operations and working capital efficiency and enhanced its sales and marketing capabilities. These efforts led to the successful sale of ORS Nasco to United Stationers, Inc. in 2007.

About Brazos Private Equity Partners, LLC

Brazos Private Equity Partners, LLC is a Dallas-based private equity firm that manages approximately $1.4 billion of equity capital. Brazos seeks to partner with outstanding management teams and/or families of closely-held middle-market businesses to maximize value. Brazos has been one of the most active middle-market private equity investment firms over the past decade, having completed 55 acquisitions in a broad range of industries including consumer, food and beverage, business and financial services, healthcare, manufacturing / industrial and distribution. Brazos has significant experience acquiring, growing and monetizing distribution businesses. Since 2002, Brazos has invested in four successful distribution companies: ORS Nasco, Inc., Shelter Distribution, Inc., Strategic Equipment and Supply Corporation and Tri-Northern Security Distribution, Inc.

Bill Scheller
President / CEO
BlackHawk Industrial Distribution, Inc.
5460 South Garnett Road - Suite G
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74146
Cell: 918-360-1810
Work: 918-610-4710
Fax: 918-664-5720