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The Collins Companies, a leading distributor of industrial pipe, valves, fittings, and engineered products and services, has announced an agreement to acquire Washburn-Garfield Corp., a prominent supplier of industrial and commercial pipe, valves, and fittings in Worcester, Massachusetts, as well as their subsidiary, Waites Co. Inc., an equally well-known distributor of abrasives and cutting tools in that market.
These two strategic acquisitions represent the ninth and tenth expansions of The Collins Companies' footprint in the past 15 years and reinforce its commitment to always providing exceptional products and services to all of its current and “new” customers in the New England and upstate New York markets.
The acquisition of Washburn-Garfield and Waites brings together two industry leaders, combining their strengths and expertise to create a stronger and more comprehensive offering to all of their customers.
“This acquisition, above any other, “just makes sense” for both of us. Commented Brian Tuohey, CEO of the Collins Companies, “We have really been friends, not competitors, for the last 30-plus years and this acquisition now gives us a greater presence in a market that is adjacent to us in Central Massachusetts.
“Furthermore, it is very important to us that we choose new partners where our company culture and values closely align and the majority of the WG and Waites teams have worked together for over 20 years and that level of longevity and commitment exactly mirrors that of our team here at Collins."
"Washburn-Garfield and Waites have built a stellar reputation in their industries for over a century," added Dave Smith, WG and Waites CEO. "Our commitment to excellence through a customer-centric approach, and extensive product knowledge aligns perfectly with both companies’ core values. Our Washburn and Waites teams are thrilled to become the newest member of the Collins family."
In 2008, then Washburn CEO Richard O’Hearn, sold the companies to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) which now owns all of Washburn's stock. Completion of the transaction, which is subject to a shareholder vote by participants in Washburn's ESOP, is currently expected to take place by month’s end.
As a result of this acquisition, The Collins Companies will be expanding its presence in Worcester and the surrounding areas, strengthening its position as a leading distributor of industrial PVF and we will also be expanding our service capabilities into this brand-new area. In 2019, Collins purchased International Valve and Instrument, which launched them into the valve and heat exchanger repair and testing markets. Subsequently, in 2022, Collins also launched a compressed air sales and service offering to their customers.
Both WG and Waites have current customers where these service divisions could be utilized and the customers of both companies will greatly benefit from an expanded product inventory, access to a wider range of industry-leading brands, and the increased availability of these specialized services.