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Grainger Announces Intent To Divest Additional Specialty Brands

CHICAGO, Dec. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Grainger (NYSE: GWW), the leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products serving businesses and institutions, today announced that it has signed a contract to sell all of the assets associated with Gempler's, Ben Meadows and AW Direct, previously maintained under Grainger's Specialty Brands portfolio.  In aggregate, the three brands represent an estimated $90 million in revenue in 2013.  The company does not expect this divestiture to have a material effect on earnings.  The buyer, Ariens Company, based in Brillion, Wis., is a leading manufacturer of outdoor power equipment for both consumer and professional use.  The transaction is expected to close by year end.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

As Grainger previously announced, following a strategic review it was determined that the direct marketing brands within the Specialty Brands fall outside the company's long-term focus.  This transaction completes the realignment of the Specialty Brands portfolio.

About Grainger                     

W.W. Grainger, Inc. with 2012 sales of $9 billion is North America's leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products, with expanding global operations.  For more information about the company, visit www.grainger.com/investor.

About Ariens Company

Established in 1933 in Brillion, Wis., Ariens Company is a leading manufacturer of outdoor power equipment for both consumer and professional use. The company's premium international brands include Ariens Sno-Thro® and Ariens lawn and garden products for consumers; Countax® and Westwood® lawn tractors; and Gravely® and Parker® commercial equipment for the landscape management, facilities maintenance and sports field sectors. Ariens' affiliates, Stens Corporation, J Thomas and Ariens Pty Ltd. ( Australia), supply replacement parts to the outdoor power equipment industry. Ariens Company employs more than 1,400 people, with operations in Wisconsin, Nebraska, Indiana, Michigan, the United Kingdom, Norway and Australia. Visit http://www.ariensco.com for more information.

Forward-Looking Statements

This document contains forward-looking statements under the federal securities law.  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 "forecasting" or "expects" 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, Form 10-Q and other reports filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, containing a discussion of the company's business and various factors that may affect it.

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