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Border States agrees to acquire Gorman-Bruce Electric Supply

Jan. 1, 2003
Border States Industries, Fargo, N.D., moved to increase its presence in the Southwest and enter the Mexican market by signing a letter of intent to purchase

Border States Industries, Fargo, N.D., moved to increase its presence in the Southwest and enter the Mexican market by signing a letter of intent to purchase Gorman-Bruce Electric Supply Co., Inc., El Paso, Texas, for an undisclosed sum.

Both companies are Allen-Bradley distributors operating with some service area overlap in the Southwest. Gorman-Bruce owner Steve Bruce said the proposed sale is a good fit with Border States' territory. "It's contiguous. They were in New Mexico and it's part of the same region," Bruce said.

Border States was one of at least three Allen-Bradley distributors involved in negotiations with Gorman-Bruce over the past few months, said a source close to the negotiations.

The sale, upon completion, is expected to provide a gateway to Mexico for Border States, said Greg Hoffelt, Border States' vice president for marketing. Gorman-Bruce has branch offices in Juarez and Chihuahua, Mexico.

"It's something we have been on the fringe of with our Arizona operation, and we do a little bit of business with Mexican entities," Hoffelt said. "We're realistic with NAFTA and what appears to be the eventual, more general opening of the Mexican economy to businesses like us. We had to make that plunge at some point."

Hoffelt said Border States has "no immediate plans to change anything," including the Gorman-Bruce name and personnel.

The acquisition adds yet another Allen-Bradley distributor to the membership roster of Affiliated Distributors, Wayne, Pa., to which Border States belongs. Gorman-Bruce is a member of IMARK Group, Oxon Hills, Md.

Gorman-Bruce has 15 employees and about $5.5 million in annual revenue. Border States is the nation's 16th-largest electrical distributor with 560 employees and $240 million in 1996 sales. Border States' regional senior vice president, Bob Gill, will oversee Gorman-Bruce as part of the company's Southwest operations.

About the Author

Doug Chandler | Senior Staff Writer

Doug has been reporting and writing on the electrical industry for Electrical Wholesaling and Electrical Marketing since 1992 and still finds the industry’s evolution and the characters who inhabit its companies endlessly fascinating. That was true even before e-commerce, LED lighting and distributed generation began to disrupt so many of the electrical industry’s traditional practices.

Doug earned a BA in English Literature from the University of Kansas after spending a few years in KU’s William Allen White School of Journalism, then deciding he absolutely did not want to be a journalist. In the company of his wife, two kids, two dogs and two cats, he spends a lot of time in the garden and the kitchen – growing food, cooking, brewing beer – and helping to run the family coffee shop.

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