Madison, WI -- December 20, 2010. DEMCO, Inc., a leading library supplier, has acquired the assets of Highsmith, an award-winning educational products and library supplier, from W.W. Grainger Inc. (NYSE: GWW), the leading broad-line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products serving business and institutions.
"DEMCO and Highsmith have a shared commitment to serving the library community: school, public, and academic. For more than 100 years, DEMCO has provided quality solutions for libraries. Together, we will continue that tradition into the future."
The acquisition of Highsmith, which includes the Upstart and Edupress brands, broadens the DEMCO product line, creating a richer offering of products and services to better serve the needs of librarians and K-12 educators nationwide.
DEMCO President Mike Grasee said, "DEMCO and Highsmith have a shared commitment to serving the library community: school, public, and academic. For more than 100 years, DEMCO has provided quality solutions for libraries. Together, we will continue that tradition into the future."
In the library supplies market, Highsmith has deep roots in primary and secondary schools. The addition of Highsmith helps DEMCO grow its products and services to become an indispensable resource for libraries and schools across the country.
Grasee said, "In addition to the library products business, we are also excited about the addition of the Edupress and Upstart brands. They complement the DEMCO offering with unique products that include games, books and learning materials that support literacy and make learning fun. Combining all of these highly-respected brands under one roof gives DEMCO a greater reach into the school market."
The Highsmith business will operate from the DEMCO facilities in Madison and Deforest, Wis. DEMCO currently employs 245 coworkers and anticipates hiring an additional 60-75 people to support the acquisition of the Highsmith business; the vast majority of whom will come from Highsmith.
About DEMCO, Inc.
DEMCO provides product and service solutions to libraries and schools to help them better meet the needs of their communities. Products include a full range of supplies, equipment, furniture and technology including a comprehensive interior design service for libraries and schools nationwide. Headquartered in Madison, Wis., DEMCO is a subsidiary of Wall Family Enterprise, a family-owned business including five other library and education-focused companies based in the United States and United Kingdom.
W.W. Grainger, Inc. with 2009 sales of $6.2 billion is North America's leading broad-line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products with an expanding presence in Asia and Latin America.