(GGG) Management Changes at Graco

In an effort to better focus on international growth and seize new Process business opportunities, Graco Inc. (GGG) recently expanded its management team.

Graco announced management changes in its process division, which will be effective from January 1, 2013. The current Business Development Director for the Industrial Products Division (IPD), Mark Eberlein, will become the new Vice President and General Manager for the Process Division. Additionally, Bernard Moreau, the current Director of sales and marketing for Graco’s IPD and Applied Fluid Technologies Division (AFTD) in Europe, will hold the position of the company’s first Vice President and General Manager for South and Central America.

The company also announced that Simon Paulis, Vice President and General Manager for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, will retire at the end of fiscal year 2012 and will be succeeded by Jeffrey Johnson, the current Vice President and General Manager for the Asia-Pacific region. Additionally, Peter O’Shea, the current director of Sales and Marketing will for Graco’s IPD business in Asia Pacific will succeed Johnson and will hold the office of Vice President and General Manager, Asia Pacific. Also, David M. Lowe will be promoted to the Executive Vice President position of the Industrial Products Division.

The strategic move by Graco is aimed at delivering long-term growth and enhancing international sales in the emerging economies of South and Central America. The company expects that new management’s vast know-how and expertise should prove beneficial in the long term. It should enable the company to reach new heights with respect to ongoing services and portfolio expansions.

Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Graco supplies technology for management of fluids in both industrial and commercial applications. The company designs, manufactures, and markets systems that move, measure, control, dispense, and apply fluid materials. Its products are used for the application of paints and coatings, for the high-pressure cleaning of equipment, and for the lubrication and maintenance of vehicles and other equipments.

Graco currently has a Zacks #4 Rank, which translates into a short-term Sell rating. We have a long-term Underperform recommendation on the stock. One of its competitors, IDEX Corporation (IEX) carries a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating.

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