PE-backed Morsco buys Fortiline Waterworks

Morsco Inc, a portfolio company of Advent International, is buying Fortiline Waterworks. CHS Capital LLC is the seller. Advent will make a new “significant” equity investment to support the deal. Fortiline, of Concord, North Carolina, is a wholesale distributor of underground water, sewer and storm utility products in the United States.

Correction: A prior version of this story incorrectly stated that Fortiline was buying Morsco. The story has been changed.


C_o_n_c_o_r_d_,_ _N_._C_._ _– _(_S_e_p_t_e_m_b_e_r_ _1_4_,_ _2_0_1_6_)_ _– _Fortiline Waterworks (“Fortiline”), a portfolio company of CHS Capital LLC and one of the largest waterworks distributors in the United States, announced today it has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired (the “Transaction”) by MORSCO, Inc. (“MORSCO”) of Fort Worth, Texas, as its waterworks distribution platform.
MORSCO, a portfolio company of global private equity firm Advent International (“Advent”), is a leading U.S. distributor of commercial and residential plumbing and HVAC supplies. MORSCO is one of the fastest growing companies in its industry with 140+ branch locations, more than $1 billion in sales and over 2,000 associates in 12 states. Advent will make a significant new equity investment to support the acquisition.
Mike Swedick will remain President and CEO of Fortiline, which will continue to operate as a standalone company, responsible for waterworks supplies distribution inside of MORSCO.
“On behalf of all the employees at Fortiline, we are extremely proud and excited to have signed an agreement to join the MORSCO family,” said Mike Swedick, Fortiline President and CEO. “Our experience in dealing with the management team at MORSCO has been wonderful; I have learned that we have similar cultures and values, which will make this transition seamless. We very much look forward to continuing to build our waterworks platform while collaborating with the leadership team at MORSCO to build a world class distribution company.”
Chip Hornsby, CEO of MORSCO, commented, “We are extremely excited to be partnering with Fortiline. Since the purchase of Morrison Supply Company in November 2011, our intent was to become a world-class distributor in plumbing, HVAC and waterworks. In less than five years, we have expanded coast to coast through acquisitions and organic growth primarily in plumbing and HVAC. The addition of Fortiline as a standalone waterworks business under the leadership of Mike Swedick further demonstrates our commitment to the waterworks industry.”
The closing of the Transaction, which is expected to occur by October 31, 2016, is subject to various conditions, including the expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. Until the consummation of the Transaction, MORSCO and Fortiline will remain independent companies.
About Fortiline
Fortiline Waterworks, headquartered in Concord, N.C., is one of the largest wholesale distributors of underground water, sewer and storm utility products in the United States. Founded in 1997, Fortiline distributes more than 75,000 SKUs to a diverse base of more than 4,500 contractor, developer and municipal customers through a network of 42 branches in 12 states in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. The company’s vision is to be the preferred and most trusted resource for utility infrastructure product solutions and Fortiline backs that with specialty divisions and extensive inventory at locations across the country. To learn more, visit
MORSCO is a leading U.S. distributor of commercial and residential plumbing and HVAC supplies. The company was founded nearly 100 years ago in Fort Worth, Texas, and is now one of the fastest growing companies in its market. MORSCO is a private company sponsored by Advent International and led by a team of industry veterans. The MORSCO family of operating units consists of Express Pipe & Supply (CA), Farnsworth Wholesale Company (AZ), Morrison Supply Company (TX, OK, NM, LA, KS), Murray Supply Company (NC, SC, VA), Wholesale Specialties (CO), DeVore & Johnson (GA) and MORSCO’s premier showroom offering in these markets, Expressions Home Gallery. For additional information regarding MORSCO or any of its brands, please visit the website at
About Advent International
Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors. The firm has invested in more than 300 private equity transactions in 40 countries and as of March 31, 2016, had $42 billion in assets under management. With offices on four continents, Advent has established a globally integrated team of over 180 investment professionals across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on investments in five core sectors, including business and financial services; healthcare; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology, media and telecom. After more than 30 years dedicated to international investing, Advent remains committed to partnering with management teams to deliver sustained revenue and earnings growth for its portfolio companies. For more information, visit
About CHS Capital
CHS Capital is a Chicago-based private equity firm with over 25 years of experience investing in the middle market. Through partnerships with strong management teams, CHS Capital aims to accelerate earnings growth and drive value creation through human capital initiatives, performance improvement actions and strategic growth activities. Throughout its history, CHS Capital has made investments in over 400 businesses and invested $2.9 billion of capital. For additional information, please visit