In a follow-up to his recent report on shifts in the tool world, David Frane covers the most recent news to break: Last week Stanley Black & Decker agreed to pay $1.95 billion for Lenox, Irwin, and Hilmor. If the deal is allowed to go through (SB&D is already the largest toolmaker in the world, hence the oversight from anti-trust regulators) SB&D would not just be a power-tool powerhouse with brands like DeWalt, Porter-Cable, Bostitch, and Black + Decker, but could become the single largest supplier of hand tools to the U.S. market. If you're interested in the tool business, Frane provides plenty of interesting detail about the inner works of global tool trading.
According to SB&D, part of what made it the ideal buyer for Lenox and Irwin was its experience selling and distributing hand tools and accessories—which is different than distributing power tools. The analogy in our world would be the contractor who is good at producing a whole bunch of small jobs versus the contractor who is good at producing a small number of big jobs. Both might do the same amount of business but each requires a different kind of expertise.