Service Center News

Reliance to Acquire Merfish United

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Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co., Los Angeles, will acquire Merfish United, a master distributor of tubular building products. Merfish United is held by One Equity Partners, a middle market private equity firm.

Headquartered in Ipswich, Mass., Merfish United serves 47 U.S. states through its 12 distribution centers. Merfish United’s 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.

The company’s customer relationships are structured through national accounts, buying groups and independent wholesale distribution customers, and support the plumbing and heating; pipe, valve and fittings; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; waterworks; fire protection; pool supply; lumber yard; fence; steel service center and electrical supply markets. A proprietary fleet of approximately 65 trucks provides Merfish United with the ability to make timely deliveries to meet its customers’ needs.

Merfish United was created in 2019 with the merger of United Pipe & Steel and Merfish Pipe & Supply. The partnership created the largest master distributor of standard pipe products in the U.S., said Gerald Merfish at the time.

For the 12 months ended June 30, 2021, Merfish United’s net sales were approximately $500 million.

This transaction fits within Reliance’s acquisition strategy of acquiring immediately accretive companies with strong management teams and has broadened to not only focus on traditional metals service centers, but also adjacent business opportunities, Reliance executives claim. The acquisition of Merfish United supports Reliance’s customer, product and geographical diversification strategy and significantly increases its exposure to copper and plastic products.

In addition, Merfish United 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, Reliance claims.

The transaction is expected to close within the next 60 days.