Do-it-yourselfers shop Home Depot or Lowe's, but the pros do business at HD Supply. Formerly the professional services division of Home Depot, HD Supply operates about 630 locations across some 45 US states and nine Canadian provinces that distribute building materials and tools and provide installation services to professionals in the construction, maintenance and repair, and energy and infrastructure markets. The company operates about 10 business units, including HD Supply Waterworks, HD Supply Facilities Maintenance, and HD Supply Canada. HD Supply was formed in 1997 when big-box retailer Home Depot bought Maintenance Warehouse.
Recovery has been slow going at HD Supply, which suffered along with its customers from the credit crunch and slowdown in the construction industry. In fiscal 2011 (ends January), net sales inched up only 1% vs. the previous year, but the company did return to profitability after a big loss in fiscal 2010. However, growth has since accelerated, with net sales for the first nine months of fiscal 2012 up more than 8% vs. the prior year. The sales boost apparently increased confidence at historically-acquisitive HD Supply, which resumed buying companies after a two-year hiatus.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Its HD Supply Waterworks (HDSW) division purchased RAMSCO, a waterworks distributor specializing in water, sanitary and storm sewer materials and services in the second quarter of fiscal 2012. The addition of RAMSCO, which is based in New York State, extended HDSW's service to customers in the Northeast. More recently, HD Supply Facilities Maintenance opened a new distribution center in Jacksonville, Florida.
In response to steep losses during the downturn, the wholesaler eliminated about 4,500 jobs and consolidated more than 200 branches. To further cut costs, in 2011 HD Supply sold its plumbing and HVAC business to plumbing and heating wholesaler Hajoca Corporation. Despite its weak performance, CEO Joe DeAngelo -- who led the division when it was owned by Home Depot and was retained by its private equity owners -- said his goal is to take HD Supply public by 2014 or 2015.
HD Supply is owned by three of the world's leading private equity firms Bain Capital, The Carlyle Group, and Clayton Dubilier & Rice. – less