NEW YORK – February 4, 2019 – One Equity Partners (“OEP”), a leading middle market private equity firm, today announced that its portfolio company, Merfish Pipe & Supply (“Merfish”), the largest master distributor of carbon steel standard pipe, fittings and flanges in the U.S., and United Pipe & Supply (“United”) are combining ownership under Merfish Pipe Holdings (“MPH”), an entity that is majority owned by OEP. Financial terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.
Headquartered in Ipswich, Mass., United is also a master distributor of carbon steel standard pipe, which they complement with the master distribution of plastic pipe, copper tube and electrical conduit, serving the construction, electrical supply, fire protection, HVAC, mechanical and plumbing industries. Founded in 1980, United is known for making small quantity deliveries on a “just-in-time” basis from 12 distribution centers across the U.S. and its large fleet of trucks.
“United’s proven route-based delivery model is attractive because it allows our wholesale customers to reduce their storage of excess inventory and commodity exposure risk, and their distribution centers will expand our geographic coverage around the country,” said Gerald Merfish, CEO of Merfish. “This transaction will allow us to serve approximately 30 percent of the total master distribution market, helping to increase our reach into attractive commercial, industrial and residential construction end markets.”
“This transaction is an excellent example of how OEP focuses on growing portfolio companies through strategic combinations that compound growth, build long term value and create new growth opportunities,” said Jamie Koven, Senior Managing Director, OEP. “Merfish and United are exceptionally strong, well established brands that are highly complementary with excellent product portfolios.”
The combined businesses will serve the plumbing, HVAC, electrical, mechanical, PVF, fire protection, fence, steel service centers, waterworks, utility and construction markets from 17 distribution centers, with dedicated delivery routes to job sites, supply houses or other locations.
“We’re thrilled to join with Merfish and utilize our modern fleet of trucks, distribution network and logistical support to continue providing all of our customers with uninterrupted, best in class service as always,” said Greg Leidner, President and CEO of United. “Together, we will continue to develop ways to enhance the supply chain for our suppliers and customers, while providing employees with meaningful and rewarding opportunities to develop professionally.”
Leidner will assume the role of CEO of MPH, and Merfish has been named Chairman of MPH.
OEP has proven experience investing and building market-leading industrials businesses like Merfish, including Anvil International, one of the largest and most complete manufacturers of pipe fittings, pipe hangers and piping support systems; Alltub Group, a leader in aluminum and laminate specialty packaging manufacturing; and, Strike, a provider of integrity testing, maintenance, engineering, procurement, and construction services for pipeline operators.
About One Equity Partners
OEP is a middle-market private equity firm focused on the industrial, healthcare, and technology sectors in North America and Europe. The firm builds market-leading companies by identifying and executing transformative business combinations. OEP is a trusted partner with a differentiated investment process, a broad and senior team, and an established track record generating long-term value for its partners. Since 2001, the firm has completed more than 180 transactions worldwide. OEP, founded in 2001, spun out of JP Morgan in 2015. The firm has offices in New York, Chicago, and Frankfurt. For more information, please visit www.oneequity.com.
About United Pipe & Steel
United Pipe (UPS), founded in 1980 and headquartered in Ipswich, MA, is a master distributor of carbon steel standard pipe, plastic pipe, copper tube, and electrical conduit. UPS services distributors across a broad array of industries (including Plumbing and Heating, PVF, Waterworks, Electrical, HVAC, Pool Supply) from its network of 12 distribution centers across the United States. For more information, please visit www.UnitedPipe.com
About Merfish Pipe & Supply
MPS, founded in 1920 and headquartered in Houston, TX, is a master distributor of carbon steel standard pipe, weld fittings and flanges. MPS operates 5 distribution centers across the United States serving a broad base of distributor customers. MPS has the largest inventory of carbon steel standard pipe, weld fittings and flanges in the U.S., ensuring the highest quality and best availability. The primary end markets served through their distributor customers include commercial construction, industrial construction, residential construction, fire protection, fence and steel/structural fabrication. For more information, please visit www.merfish.com
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