New leader touts spinoff of NOV’s distribution business

HOUSTON — Splitting off from National Oilwell Varco will give a new distribution company more control of its cash as it plans to grow its multibillion-dollar business, the spinoff’s incoming CEO said Monday.

National Oilwell Varco on Monday named Robert Workman CEO of the new company, which is set to break off from National Oilwell Varco next year.

Since 2001, Workman, 45, has served as president of National Oilwell Varco’s distribution business, which generated $4 billion in annual revenue last year. He said in an email that he has his sights set on streamlining operations and expanding the company’s customer base worldwide.

The publicly traded company will be called DistributionNOW and will be part of a new Delaware corporation called NOW, Inc., National Oilwell Varco said Monday.

“As a stand-alone distribution business, we will be able to invest our cash flow directly back into our operations to grow market share, product and geographic expansion and enhance profitability,” Workman said.

Workman said his first priorities upon breaking off from National Oilwell Varco would be to better integrate recently acquired companies CE Franklin and Wilson Supply into’s 150-year-old distribution business. The business began as Oilwell Supply in the 1860s, Workman said.

Robert Workman will be lead the distribution company set to spin off from National Oilwell Varco. (NOV)
Robert Workman will be lead the distribution company set to spin off from National Oilwell Varco. (NOV)

“After we accomplish that in the first quarter of 2014, we will have fully integrated these great organizations and begin to make further investments in value creation for our customers, employees and shareholders,” Workman said.

Daniel Molinaro, who has been treasurer of National Oilwell Varco since 1987, will become DistributionNOW’s chief financial officer. David Cherechinsky, who has been vice president of finance for the distribution division since 2003, will become the company’s chief accounting officer.

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National Oilwell Varco announced this month that its chief executive officer, Pete Miller, will leave the Houston-based company next year and join the spinoff business as executive chairman.

National Oilwell Varco’s distribution division more than doubled its revenue last year, from $1.9 billion in 2011 to $3.9 billion in 2012. The business is on track to far surpass that total, having pulled in $3.9 billion through the first nine months of 2013. But the division’s customer base that is increasingly industrial, moving away from National Oiwell Varco’s oil field focus.

DistributionNOW, which will be based at a new campus in northwest Houston, will be looking to grow that customer base after the company separates, Workman said.

“While we are already a global distribution business operating in over 20 countries, there are several geographies and markets, both domestically and abroad, where we would like to expand our operations,” he said.

In splitting, the companies will be more focused and better positioned for growth, National Oilwell Varco’s incoming CEO Clay Williams told FuelFix earlier this month.

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