March 3, 2020
AD and SafetyNetwork (formerly SMG) are announcing that on Feb. 28, 2020, SafetyNetwork’s independent members overwhelmingly voted in favor to merge the two groups. The transaction is expected to close April 1, 2020. The merger is part of AD’s commitment to ensuring a strong future for independent distributors.
This partnership will create the AD Safety Network Division, its only safety-dedicated division focused on growth of independent distributors specializing in the safety market. Over the course of several months since the prospective merger was announced, AD participated with SafetyNetwork board members and staff in many meetings to ensure ample opportunity for questions and commentary. This ensured members’ votes were well-informed.
Marisol Fernandez, AD’s president of the Industrial and Safety–U.S. Division who will also lead the new safety division, said both organizations see tremendous benefits in the partnership for all constituents.
“We’re honored to have the opportunity to welcome the SafetyNetwork members to the AD family and excited about the future of independent distributors in this segment,” Fernandez said. “I’m extremely grateful to the SafetyNetwork staff, board, members and supplier partners for their spirit of partnership and collaboration throughout this process, and I look forward to warmly welcoming them to the AD community.”
SafetyNetwork CEO Mike Smeaton, who will assume a president emeritus role, said AD’s programs and services are a big advantage for his group’s members and supplier partners.
“I’m extremely confident in the steps we’re taking to partner with AD,” Smeaton stated. “This merger will combine SafetyNetwork’s strong safety-focused membership with AD’s unique scale and capabilities to help our members compete and win.”
While the merger received strong backing from SafetyNetwork’s membership, AD’s Chairman and CEO Bill Weisberg said earning the continued trust of members remains a full-time commitment.
“We do not take our members’ trust in us for granted,” Weisberg said. “While I’m extremely grateful about the confidence shown by the SafetyNetwork members’ vote to bring our organizations together, we will work tirelessly to continue to earn their trust and to bring value for their businesses. It’s a privilege to serve independent distributors.”
In the next several months, AD will work to smoothly onboard and integrate with SafetyNetwork’s staff, members and supplier partners, equipping them with the tools and knowledge necessary to fully participate in the AD community, includes establishing governance for the newly formed division’s board.