Border States to Purchase Harris Electric Supply

Border States Electric (BSE), Fargo, N.D., plans to extend its reach into Tennessee with an agreement to purchase Harris Electric Supply Co., Clarksville, Tenn. The transaction is expected to close in November 2008.

With 2007 revenues of about $96.7 million, Harris Electric Supply ranks as the nation's 86th-largest electrical distributor, according to Electrical Wholesaling magazine's 2008 Top 200 listing.

The company has seven locations in Tennessee: Clarksville, Columbia, Cookeville, Hendersonville, Lebanon, Murfreesboro and Nashville. It sells electrical distribution, power monitoring, power quality, lighting, data communication, control and automation products for the residential, industrial, original equipment manufacturer (OEM), commercial construction, data communications and utility markets.

Founded in 1945, Harris Electric Supply Co. has 120 employees serving more than 1,900 customers. The Harris Electric Supply Co. name will not change, but “a division of Border States” will be added to the company's logo.

“Joining forces with Border States Electric establishes a strong foundation for the future growth and success of Harris Electric Supply Co. and our employees,” said Phillip Hardy, president of Harris Electric. “Our two companies are a great fit.”

BSE provides products and services to the construction, industrial, utility and data communications markets. The combined organization will have approximately 1,400 employees and 57 branch operations in 13 states and Mexico. Active employees own 100 percent of Border States Electric under its Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). All Harris employees will become part of Border States' ESOP once they complete 1,000 hours of service during the fiscal year, said Tammy Miller, Border States Electric CEO.

“We are excited for Harris Electric to join us,” she said. “We each have a solid history of performance and growth. We share similar values which include a consistent commitment to customer service and product support. We both are technologically driven and provide innovative service offerings to our customers. Together, we will continue to offer outstanding, reliable customer service from the same great people our customers have come to know and trust.”

Burk Burkhardt of HT Capital Advisors, New York, handled the sale of the company. HT Capital has been an advisor to several other business owners who sold their electrical distributorships, including Braid Electric Co., Nashville, Tenn.; Crawford Electric Supply, Dallas; Friedman Electric Supply Co., Exeter, Pa.; Owen Electric Supply, Houston; Project Lighting Co. Inc., Houston; Ralph Pill Electric Supply Co., Boston; Stuart C. Irby Co., Jackson, Miss; and Wiedenbach-Brown, Hawthorne, N.Y.

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