Grainger Announces Divestiture of Joint Venture in South Korea

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CHICAGO, Oct. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

Grainger (NYSE: GWW), a leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products serving businesses and institutions, today announced it has divested its 49 percent stake in MRO Korea to affiliates of its former partner, SK Networks, for $12 million, resulting in a net gain of approximately $5 million. SK Group intends to transform the MRO Korea business model into a social enterprise, focused on job creation for the underprivileged.

"We have enjoyed a good working relationship with SK Networks since 2000 and we wish them continued success as they take the business in a new direction," said Court Carruthers, President, Grainger International. "We look forward to continuing to serve businesses in South Korea, including our multinational customers, through our export business."

Asia remains a key focus area for Grainger's international expansion efforts. The company operates several businesses in Asia including:

  • Grainger China, a broad line MRO distributor serving customers through a catalog, website and branch network;
  • Grainger India, a master distributor with more than 2,000 dealer relationships across the country; and
  • A 53 percent interest in MonotaRO, providing small and mid-sized businesses in Japan access to more than one million MRO products through a catalog, website and distribution centers in Osaka and Sendai.

Additionally, Grainger serves customers throughout Asia via its export business and network of authorized resellers in key markets.

About W.W. Grainger, Inc.

W.W. Grainger, Inc., with 2010 sales of $7.2 billion, is North America's leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products, with expanding operations in Europe, Asia and Latin America. For more information about the company, visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This document contains forward-looking statements under the federal securities law. The forward-looking statements relate to the company's expected future financial results and business plans, strategies and objectives and are not historical facts. They are generally identified by qualifiers such as "expect," "plans," "will," or similar expressions. There are risks and uncertainties the outcome of which could cause the company's results to differ materially from what is projected. The forward-looking statements should be read in conjunction with the company's most recent annual report, as well as the company's Form 10-K and other reports filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, containing a discussion of the company's business and various factors that may affect it.

SOURCE W.W. Grainger, Inc.

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