The ecommerce-focused distributor of industrial supplies and automotive parts is buying Kaman Distribution Group for $1.3 billion to build its market share in the business of selling maintenance, repair and operations products and compete against major MRO distributors, Genuine Parts Co. said last week.

Genuine Parts Co., a multibillion-dollar distributor with an extensive ecommerce presence, will use its $1.3 billion acquisition of Kaman Distribution Group to nearly double the size of its industrial products group.

Our Motion team, led by Randy Breaux, is eager to bring together the world-class talent and industrial expertise of these two organizations to build an even stronger business.
Paul Donahue, CEO
Genuine Parts Co.

And that deal by Genuine Parts, whose ecommerce sites include NAPAOnline.comNAPACanada.com and, for Mexico, NAPA Auto Partes, means stiffer digital competition for other big public distributors of maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) and industrial supplies such as W.W. Grainger Inc., MSC and others.

On Friday, Genuine Parts announced that Motion Industries Inc., a subsidiary, was acquiring Kaman in an all-cash deal. In 2020, the industrial parts group of Genuine Parts generated total sales of $5.7 billion, or 34% of total sales of about $16.50 billion.

With its deal to acquire Kaman, which Genuine Parts expects to complete sometime in the first quarter of 2022, Genuine Parts will add $1.1 billion in total sales and expand its industrial parts network to include 50,000 new customers.

Kaman is a 50-year-old company headquartered in Bloomfield, Connecticut. The company is a distributor of power transmission, automation and fluid power industrial products and services,  with operations throughout the United States. Kaman sells electro-mechanical products, bearings, power transmission, motion control and electrical and fluid power components to original equipment manufacturing customers and buyers of maintenance, repair and operation is (MRO) products.

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“Our Motion team, led by [president] Randy Breaux, is eager to bring together the world-class talent and industrial expertise of these two organizations to build an even stronger business,” says Genuine Parts CEO Paul Donahue. “We look forward to extending our leadership position and creating significant shareholder value together as a premier leader in industrial solutions.”

The two companies did not break out specific details on their combined digital strategy. But Kaman already has an extensive and established B2B program. Kaman features more than two million products in its digital inventory on KamanDirect.com. Kaman’s ecommerce program also is led by an experienced executive—senior ecommerce director Howard Blumenthal.

Blumenthal has been Kaman’s senior director of ecommerce since October 2018, according to his LinkedIn profile. Prior to joining Kaman, Blumenthal was vice president of ecommerce for Brookstone, once a chain retailer of electronics and related gadgets and now an online web merchant, and director of ecommerce product management for Advanced Auto Parts.

KamanDirect.com features e-procurement tools and other advanced features such as account pricing and management, quick-order, and related functions.

Genuine Parts acquired Kaman in large measure to develop more market share in what it calls the “highly fragmented” $220 billion industrial products market. “Motion’s highly synergistic acquisition of KDG significantly enhances our scale and further strengthens our market-leading position,” Donahue says.

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Without disclosing any details, Genuine Parts through Motion Industries will use an omnichannel approach, which includes ecommerce and Kaman’s network of 220 branches and five distribution centers to compete against other big industrial parts distributors, including Grainger, MSC, Fastenal and others, the company says. “This (deal) accelerates growth via selling more to existing customers, cross-selling, and acquiring new customers,” the company says.

Motion Industries was building out its own ecommerce strategy prior to the Kaman acquisition.

In March, Motion Industries, based in Birmingham, Alabama,  promoted James Howe to senior vice president to executive vice president ofecommerce, sales excellence, strategic pricing and corporate accounts from senior vice president.

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