Posted June 9, 2021

Diamond Blade Warehouse acquired by private equity

Two private equity firms have partnered together to acquire Diamond Blade Warehouse, a distributor of cutting and grinding equipment.

The two firms are Granite Creek Capital Partners, a private investment firm based in Chicago, and Canterbury Ventures, the investment arm of James M. Farrell and W. James Farrell, the retired chairman of Illinois Tool Works. 

DBW provides professional-grade replacement parts for the cutting and grinding equipment used for a variety of applications including concrete, masonry, asphalt, pavers, tile, granite, marble and commercial flooring.

Upon the closing of the acquisition, W. James Farrell was appointed chairman of the Diamond Blade Warehouse board of directors. While leading ITW to record growth and profits, Farrell became the most public voice of The Pareto Principle, commonly referred to as the 80/20 Rule.  Farrell’s son, James M. (“Jim”) Farrell has been appointed CEO of DBW. The younger Farrell has been applying the 80/20 operating strategy to drive superior operational efficiencies and investment returns while serving in executive roles at several private equity portfolio companies.

Headquartered in Vernon Hills, Illinois, DBW has the largest product line in the diamond tool industry and more than 30,000 active customers in the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Granite Creek’s investment in Diamond Blade Warehouse was made from its $200 million fund, Granite Creek FlexCap II. Granite Creek targets investments in companies engaged in manufacturing, business services, healthcare, and agribusiness. The investment team plays an active role with the leadership of its portfolio companies to support growth, strategy and financial development.

“We could not have envisioned better partners in the acquisition and oversight of an industrial business than the Farrell father-son tandem. By applying the 80/20 operating principles to Diamond Blade Warehouse, we believe that the business will be positioned to expand into new geographies and increase its rate of growth,” said Peter Lehman, co-founder and partner at Granite Creek Capital Partners. “DBW’s brands, product catalog, highly-knowledgeable customer service advisors and rapid fulfillment capabilities have been the backbone behind 35 years of success.”

“Granite Creek has been by our side every step of the way,” said Jim Farrell. “As we plan for Diamond Blade Warehouse’s growth, we are fortunate to have supportive capital partners and an all-star employee team that spends every day advising our customers on how to save money on their consumables while maximizing their jobsite efficiencies.”