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Grainger Enters Brazil Through the Acquisition of Anfreixo, a Votorantim Company

CHICAGO, April 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Grainger (NYSE: GWW) today announced it has acquired 100 percent of the shares of AnFreixo S.A., effective April 2, 2012.  With 2011 sales of approximately $37M USD, AnFreixo is a leading broad line distributor of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies in Brazil.  The company had been a subsidiary in the Votorantim Group, one of the largest industrial conglomerates in Latin America with 2011 revenues in excess of $20B USD. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Moving forward, the company will operate under the name Grainger.   

The acquisition of AnFreixo provides Grainger with a solid entry point for physical operations in Brazil, the largest MRO market in Latin America. "We're excited to enter Brazil through the acquisition of AnFreixo," said Mike Pulick, Senior Vice President and President, Grainger International. "Many of Grainger's customers have operations in Brazil and they're looking to Grainger to help them keep their operations running efficiently and keep their employees safe on the job. This acquisition is a great step forward in our continued focus on meeting the needs of businesses throughout the Latin American region." 

AnFreixo serves more than 2,000 customers from its distribution center in Sao Paulo and a team of sales professionals.  Today, a significant portion of AnFreixo's sales are to affiliates of its parent company, Votorantim Industrial.  As part of the transaction, Grainger announced it has entered into a long term supply agreement in which the Votorantim Group will continue to purchase MRO products from AnFreixo.  

With a shared common business culture, the acquisition of AnFreixo is a good fit for Grainger. The company will leverage AnFreixo's quality systems, processes, and team with Grainger's supply chain expertise, product offering and commitment to customer service. "We expect a seamless transition for our employees and customers and know they will appreciate and benefit from the expanded product offering and industry knowledge that comes from joining forces with North America's leading broad line industrial distributor," Ernani Araujo, President, AnFreixo.

This acquisition further builds on Grainger's international expansion and recent investments in Latin America. The company has physical operations in Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and Trinidad and has also served businesses throughout the region for more than 20 years through its export business, which includes representatives in Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Peru and Venezuela.  More information about Grainger is available at www.grainger.com/news.  

About W.W. Grainger, Inc.
W.W. Grainger, Inc., with 2011 sales of $8.1 billion, is North America's leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products, with an expanding global presence.  For more information about the company, visit www.grainger.com/investor.

About AnFreixo S.A.
AnFreixo S.A., with 2011 sales of approximately $37 million USD, is a leading distributor of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies in Brazil.  The company serves more than 2,000 customers in industries such as manufacturing, steel, construction and mining, from its distribution center in Sao Paulo. The company has served Brazil since 1943.

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 are not historical facts.  They are generally identified by qualifiers such as "continues to make strategic investments," "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.

Media, Sara Granack, Director, International Communications, +1-847-535-0755, or Investors, William Chapman, Sr. Director, Investor Relations, +1-847-535-0881, both for W.W. Grainger

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