Grainger Creates Joint Venture in Colombia With Affiliate of Torhefe S.A.

Jun 21, 2010, 09:00 ET from W.W. Grainger, Inc.

CHICAGO, June 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Grainger (NYSE: GWW) today announced it has formed a joint venture with an affiliate of Torhefe S.A., THF International SAS. Grainger owns an 80 percent majority position in the joint venture, with THF International SAS maintaining 20 percent. The joint venture has acquired substantially all of the assets of Torhefe and will be known as Grainger Colombia. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Grainger Colombia brings together Torhefe's rich history of customer service in Colombia, and Grainger's unmatched North American supply chain and commitment to service," said Court Carruthers, President, Grainger International. "Grainger continues to make strategic investments in Latin America that enable businesses to have access to a broad line of products and solutions that help keep their operations running efficiently and keep their employees safe on the job."

Torhefe, with 2009 sales of $23 million USD, is a leading distributor of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies in Colombia, with an emphasis on fasteners. The company has five locations in Colombia, including Barranquilla, Bogota, Cali, Cartagena and Medellin. The joint venture plans to operate under the Torhefe brand name in its existing locations, transitioning to the Grainger name over the next year.

"We share a common passion for providing superior service to our customers," said Carlos Acevedo, President, Torhefe. "We expect a seamless transition for our employees and customers and know they will appreciate and benefit from the expanded product offering and availability that comes from joining forces with North America's leading broad-line industrial distributor."

The establishment of Grainger Colombia further builds on Grainger's international expansion and recent investments in Latin America. Grainger has physical operations in Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and Trinidad and has also served businesses throughout the region for more than 20 years through its export business, which includes representatives in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Peru and Venezuela. More information about Grainger is available at

About W.W. Grainger, Inc.

W.W. Grainger, Inc. with 2009 sales of $6.2 billion is North America's leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) products with an expanding presence in Asia and Latin America.

About Torhefe S.A.

Torhefe, with 2009 sales of $23 million USD, is a leading distributor of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies in Colombia, with an emphasis on fasteners. The company has served Colombia since 1984.

Forward-Looking Statements

This document contains forward-looking statements under the federal securities law. The forward-looking statements relate to the company's expected future financial results and business plans, strategies and objectives are not historical facts. They are generally identified by qualifiers such as "continues to make strategic investments," "expect," "plans," "will," or similar expressions. There are risks and uncertainties the outcome of which could cause the company's results to differ materially from what is projected. The forward-looking statements should be read in conjunction with the company's most recent annual report, as well as the company's Form 10-K and other reports filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, containing a discussion of the company's business and various factors that may affect it.

SOURCE W.W. Grainger, Inc.