Media Coverage, Portfolio Update

Diamond Blade Warehouse could acquire cutting tool suppliers as part of growth plan, CEO says

Source: MergerMarket, By Benjamin Glick

Diamond Blade Warehouse, a distributor and manufacturer of industrial cutting products backed by Granite Creek Capital Partners and Canterbury Ventures, could acquire blade suppliers as part of its growth strategy, said CEO Jim Farrell.

Ideal targets would help expand the product line of the Vernon Hills, Illinois-based company into wood, composites, food and beverage, carpeting and flooring and other end markets, the executive told Mergermarket.

DBW, which generated around USD 100m in revenue in 2023, acquired diamond and carbide precision cutting tool manufacturer and servicer Peak Toolworks in December from Audax Private Equity.

The company also acquired specialty core bits supplier 4CoreBiz in September 2022. Terms for both deals were undisclosed.

With 12 service centers, Peak represented a sizeable acquisition for DBW, Farrell said. The company could acquire targets of a similar size, or smaller tuck-ins like 4CoreBiz, he noted, declining to disclose specific financial figures.

Farrell said DBW would consider deals on an opportunistic basis after it makes operational improvements to Peak. However, Peter Lehman, co-founder and partner at Granite Creek, said DBW could acquire targets sooner.

“We’re not going to let timing stand in the way of making a good business decision,” Lehman said in a joint interview with Farrell.

DBW will focus on supplying and distribution, but long-term plans could include bringing more manufacturing in house either organically or via acquisitions, Farrell said.

Founded in 1987, DBW sells blades, core bits and cup wheels used to cut building materials such as concrete, asphalt, granite, tile and marble. Following the acquisition of Peak, DBW has 15 locations throughout the US and Canada.

Granite Creek and Canterbury acquired DBW in June 2021. The Wall Street Journal reported at the time that Granite Creek acquired a very large minority stake in the company for USD 14m. Canterbury, which is owned by Farrell and his father, the former CEO of Illinois Tool Works W. James Farrell, also acquired a stake in the business for an undisclosed sum.

Together, Granite Creek and Canterbury constitute a controlling interest in the company, Farrell and Lehman said.

Lehman said Granite Creek doesn’t have any imminent plans to exit DBW. Farrell and Lehman agreed that a typical five-to-seven-year holding period is not a requirement for the company and its ownership tenure will be flexible.

DBW has around 400 employees following the Peak acquisition, according to Farrell.

Weis & Burney provide legal services to DBW, while accounting and tax due diligence is provided by CohnReznick. Legal services providers for Granite Creek include Goldberg Kohn. Future tax and accounting services for DBW will be provided by Miller Cooper.

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