Steel Mills

Reliance Extends Reach into Tubulars Market with Merfish Acquisition

Written by Tim Triplett

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. has agreed to purchase Merfish United, adding a master distributor of tubular building products to the service center’s already extensive portfolio of companies. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close within 60 days, were not disclosed.

RelianceReliance will acquire Merfish from One Equity Partners, a middle market private equity firm. Headquartered in Ipswich, Mass., Merfish United serves 47 U.S. states through its 12 strategically located distribution centers. Merfish United’s broad product offering includes full lines of steel pipe, copper tubing, plastic pipe, electrical conduit and related products for the commercial, residential, municipal and industrial building markets. For the year ended June 30, Merfish United’s net sales totaled approximately $500 million.

This deal fits within Reliance’s strategy of acquiring not only other, well managed service centers but also related businesses. The acquisition of Merfish United significantly increases Reliance’s exposure to copper and plastic products. In addition, it will help position Reliance in the adjacent industrial distribution space and create a platform for further growth in this area, both organically and through future acquisitions, the company said.

Merfish United services national accounts, buying groups and independent wholesale distribution customers nationwide using a proprietary fleet of 65 trucks. The current Merfish United team, including management, is expected to remain in place.

Los Angeles-based Reliance Steel & Aluminum is the industry’s largest metals service center and processor with 300 locations in 40 states and 13 countries and annual sales in excess of $10 billion.

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