Tool company buffs who were paying close attention last week may have caught a glimpse — a preview, if you will — of the future of the industry. Although it won’t be finalized until regulatory approval is complete some time later this year, Black & Decker Corporation announced on July 19 that it has signed an agreement to purchase the Tools Group from Pentair.
Included in Pentair’s Tools Group are the Porter-Cable, Delta, DeVilbiss Air Power, Oldham Saw and FLEX brands — while the DeWalt tools brand is a division of Black & Decker.
Nolan Archibald, Black & Decker’s chairman and chief executive officer, says the acquisition will add well-respected brands and expand his firm’s offerings in product lines where B&D has relatively low market share, “including woodworking equipment, compressors, pressure washers and nailers.” He also says, “The businesses we will acquire from Pentair focus on the large and profitable professional power tool market in North America and are an excellent fit with our DeWalt division.”
What does this mean to you, the average woodworker? According to DeWalt rep Shana Harris, it’s really too soon to say. A transitional team is in place and looking at all the products that would fall together under this new merger, but no decisions have been made yet about potential integration of brands or about manufacturing plant mergers or locations. Currently, the Porter-Cable/Delta plant is located in Jackson, Tennessee, after a 1999 consolidation moved the Delta operations from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to the location of its sister company. Black & Decker and DeWalt’s corporate offices are in Maryland. Any decisions made now by the transitional team would be preliminary, Shana said, pending approval of the purchse by the Federal Trade Commission.
The opinion within Black & Decker/DeWalt, Shana said, is that “overall, it’s a win/win situation for consumers.” Those who have been aware Pentair was selling its Tools Group to someone, she noted, “are excited that it’s Black & Decker, a company with strong respect within the industry.” Pentair, based in Golden Valley, Minnesota, will now concentrate on its water treatment and enclosures divisions.
Nolan, Black & Decker’s CEO, says of the purchase, “Black & Decker has an outstanding track record of creating value across its business portfolio.” He anticipates “nearly doubling the sales volume of our North American professional business” and predicts “$65 million of annual cost savings by the end of 2007.”