Norma Group SE, a German manufacturer of joining products for vehicles, appliances and plumbing systems, is acquiring California-based National Diversified Sales Inc. (NDS) from the private equity firm Graham Partners for $285 million.
The deal, which was announced Oct. 8, allows Norma Group to expand its water management portfolio and address new markets and customer segments in the area of water management in the US.
Based in Woodland Hills, Calif., NDS is a supplier of residential and commercial drainage components made of PVC, high density polyethylene, ABS and other kinds of recycled and virgin resins. The company had net sales of $127.6 million in 2013 from a product line that includes valves and couplings, valve boxes, catch basins, channel drains, subsurface drains, and automated drip irrigation systems.
Norma Group plans to keep NDS as a stand-alone company with a workforce of more than 500 employees, NDS marketing director Sharon Vessels said in a phone interview.
“NDS represents their entry into water management. They're going to use NDS as a platform to grow larger in that segment,” Vessels said.
NDS will get a larger footprint out of the deal as well as the ability to reach international customers and the financial and system resources that come from being owned by a big corporation. Norma Group had sales of 636 million euros ($806.2 million) in 2013, according to a company news release.
“Hopefully we'll be able to leverage their strength to make acquisitions and grow in new markets,” Vessels said.
Currently, she said, NDS is a market leader for products specified by design-build contractors, architects and civil engineers who need drains for housing subdivisions, strip malls, 24-hour fitness facilities, large hospitals, golf courses and even the White House.
“We're the largest manufacturer and seller of plastic catch basins. We also do plastic channel drains, a drip irrigation line, and we have a flow management company — Flo Control is the brand name — with products used for irrigation repair and plumbing systems,” Vessels said.
She said customers will not see any disruption in how NDS does business.
“Suppliers don't have to negotiate with another company. All supplier agreements will stay in place under the new ownership,” Vessels added.
The acquisition follows two others made by Norma Group since 2012, in Malaysia and Australia. The company describes the purchase of NDS as “another important step toward expanding its global position in the area of water management.”
In June 2013, NDS was doing the acquiring when it purchased the DrainTech product line of basins, channels and grates from Advanced Drainage Systems. NDS kept the brand name and consolidated the product line into its Lindsay, Calif., manufacturing facility.
NDS also has a manufacturing operation in Fresno, Calif. In 2009, the company replaced 40 percent of its injection molding machines with new equipment that cut energy usage by 19 percent.
NDS also has warehouses at the two manufacturing locations as well as Visalia, Calif.; Mineola, Texas; Powder Springs, Georgia; Bordentown, N.J.; and Lynwood, Wash.
Norma Group has about 5,000 employees and a network of 21 production facilities making metal and plastic joining products. Last month the company was named a top supplier by General Motors.