While the announcement that Border States Electric Supply was purchasing Shealy Electrical Wholesalers may have surprised many people in the industry, it comes at a time when mergers and acquisitions are becoming much more common. Over the past 12 months, tED magazine, tedmag.com, and tEDTV has highlighted the ongoing merger trend, while also looking to the future of the industry to gain some insight into what the future holds.
This month’s (June 2016) issue of tED magazine, our “Special Report” “A Declaration of Independence” (beginning on page 76) takes an in-depth look at the family-owned distributorships that are fighting off merger opportunities for a variety of reasons. The story examines the heritage of a company, the well-being of employees, and maintaining control as reasons to decide if distributors will remain independent or sell. “For some,” the article says, “an offer to exchange the company’s proud legacy for immediate wealth can cause feelings of ambivalence and disconcerting emotions.”
Ironically, in late 2015, tedmag.com reported a series of “Exclusive Features” with Shealy Electrical Wholesalers on it’s own strategy to expand through acquisitions. In “Growth Through Acquisition“, we reported on the need for Shealy to expand. “It’s been about 15 years since Bill DeLoache started looking closely at how his family-owned company could expand its reach across the state of South Carolina,” the story reads. “As the third-generation owner of West Columbia, S.C.-based Shealy Electrical Wholesalers, DeLoache had just bought out his brother’s share of the business and recruited David White, current president. ‘He looked me and said, ‘Dave, we’re either going to grow this business or we’re going to get out of it’,’ recalls White.”
About a month later, we re-visited Shealy’s acquisition strategy in another “Exclusive Feature” at tedmag.com with the story “After The Deal Closes, What Comes Next.” The story takes an inside look at what goes into Shealy’s strategy to buy smaller distributors in the South Carolina area, and the integration into Shealy’s way of doing business. “On the people side, for example, Shealy Electrical works to identify certain individuals and then integrate them into its own business model. In some cases, it will integrate an entire department at once, but not the entire company. This “folding” of the new employees into the distributor’s workflow and culture isn’t always easy.”
In May, NAED held its annual National Meeting in Washington, D.C. One of the panel discussions was titled, “Are You Predator or Prey,” and looked extensively into the merger and acquisition landscape for the future. We are fortunate to have videotaped the entire panel discussion, and with the announcement of the Border States merger with Shealy, now might be the time to head to tED magazine’s video website, tEDTV, to watch what the experts have to say about what the future holds.
Tagged with acquisition, Border States, shealy, tED