Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Williams is the leading full-service distributor of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) products and residential building products for builders, contractors, consumers, and architects serving the kitchen and bath, plumbing, garage door and hearth markets in the Great Lakes region of the United States. Attaining double-digit growth for three straight years, Williams recently expanded its HVAC parts and accessories portfolio by acquiring the business of Shoemaker, Inc., a distributor of HVAC, hydronics and plumbing supplies serving Michigan and Indiana. Williams operates 32 locations, including 27 dedicated to HVAC, across Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio with 575 employees.
Williams is a second-and-third-generation family-owned business. Jim Williams, representing the Company’s second generation, joined the family business in the 1970’s and led the Company’s transformation from distribution of appliances to HVAC and eventually building products. Through several acquisitions and the hiring of key executives, notably Mike Koster, CEO, and Jeff Beaton, President, the Company expanded its footprint throughout the midwestern United States, transforming Williams into a leading HVAC and Building Products distributor over the next four decades. Mr. Williams, having stepped down from day-to-day operating responsibilities at the Company in 2020, decided to explore strategic options to determine the next chapter in the Williams Distributing legacy.
CMG was initially engaged to conduct a strategic options analysis for the Company in early 2022. Following the outcome of CMG’s options analysis, the Williams family mandated CMG to conduct a targeted sale process for the Company. Multiple strategic and financial offers were received, and Williams ultimately selected Daikin Comfort Technologies North America, Inc. (“Daikin”), a subsidiary of Daikin Industries, Ltd. (DIL), as the acquirer. Daikin, headquartered in Osaka, Japan, is a Fortune 1,000 company with more than 84,000 employees worldwide and is the world’s #1 indoor comfort solutions provider.
Jim Williams, majority owner of the Company, commented, “I’m so appreciative of the Carter Morse & Goodrich team for their preparation, guidance and leadership throughout the M&A process ultimately culminating in a successful closing. While we were fortunate to have multiple options to consider, it became apparent to me that Daikin’s strong focus on people, access to leading technology, along with its commitment to growth and industry leadership, solidified my confidence that the best future for the entire Williams team was to be led by Daikin.”
CMG assisted Williams in the negotiation of the purchase agreement, coordinated due diligence and managed the transaction’s closing process. The transaction with Daikin closed in December 2022.
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