As first reported in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert on Tuesday, distributor Brown & Bigelow (PPAI 102272), headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota, has acquired Washington, D.C.-based distributor Specialties, Inc. (PPAI 108701).

“It has been a wonderful run for me in this industry, but it was time for me to sell my business and to partner with a national distributor to support our next stage of growth,” says Joel Kaplan (above left), who founded Specialties, Inc. in 1984. “We chose Brown & Bigelow because their unique business model allows us to maintain our identity and to support our sales executives and customers locally.”

Brown & Bigelow says that adding Specialties, Inc. to the fold expands the company’s presence in the Mid-Atlantic market and adds a roster of blue-chip clients in the Washington, D.C. metro area and Maryland market to Brown & Bigelow, Inc. The company will maintain its brand as a division of Brown & Bigelow, Inc., and order processing and supplier relationships will continue in the Specialties, Inc. Washington, D.C. and Rockville, Maryland, offices. All employees and sales people of Specialties Inc. will be joining Brown & Bigelow, Inc., so the acquisition will be seamless to customers of the distributor, although they will now have access to additional services such as online company stores and fulfillment.

William D. Smith, Jr. (above right), president and CEO of Brown & Bigelow, adds, “We are very excited to have an organization the caliber of Specialties, Inc. join the Brown & Bigelow family. We look forward to continuing their excellent reputation and service to their clients.”