As a few commenters mentioned in recent posts, KKR, a USA-based private equity firm, has purchased Hitachi power tools and Metabo. This all happened back in January 2017.
If you recall, Hitachi purchased Metabo not too long ago. After talking with a Metabo rep last week, I’m convinced that the two brands have been working out a synergistic relationship, and that upcoming and perhaps recent tools have benefited from collaborations and tech sharing.
I’ve been trying to settle my thoughts on this.
Bain Capital owns Apex Tool Group, and in the years following the acquisition some brands thrived and others faltered. They recently announced closure of an Armstrong and Allen tool factory, although reports are a little vague as to whether the brands themselves are being dissolved.
While all businesses aim to turn a profit, how will ownership by an investment firm affect the spirit of things?
Hitachi and Metabo have both been pushing forward, and I don’t see any signs of that slowing down. Will ownership by a private investment company help or hurt their motivation?
I know little about KKR, but I can only hope that they’ll add funds for R&D without changing Hitachi’s or Metabo’s souls.
I suppose that an investment company is little different from any corporate parent, except that an investment firm tends to be very diversified. They’re looking to turn a profit, but instead of changing the tool brands, perhaps they see potential in what Hitachi and Metabo can and will do these next few years.
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.