Tri-Ed/Northern buys one, opens two

Flush from its acquisition by Audax Group, company expands
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WOODBURY, N.Y.—As promised when it was acquired by private equity firm Audax Group in April, Tri-Ed/Northern Video is expanding. The independent national distributor on July 16 announced the acquisition of Seabreeze Security Distributors of Orlando, Fla., and announced plans to open two new branches: one in Detroit and one in Raleigh, N.C.

In addition to backing from Audax, the possibility of an increase in the capital gains tax is pushing deals along, Pat Comunale, Tri-Ed/Northern president and CEO, told Security Systems News.

“A lot of [these smaller distributors] are sole ownership or two to three partners and they’re looking down at a 5 to 10 percent increase in capital gains,” Comunale said.

Consolidation is also being driven by the entrance into the marketplace of players like Anixter, ScanSource and Ingram Micro, he said.

This buy “gives us a nice location in Orlando and we’re really looking to build out our footprint here,” Comunale said. The Seabreeze operation will be relocated to a new site in Orlando in the near future.

“Duane McGuire [Seabreeze former owner] and his entire sales team will join us to run the Orlando facility for us,” Comunale said.

With an acquisition, “we really are buying the relationships. We always keep the senior team,” Comunale said. “You’ll see that with all of our prior acquisitions including Northern Video, VSS and SDC.”

The new office in Detroit will fill a void in the Midwest while the new Raleigh office will expand Tri-Ed’s presence in North Carolina. It already has a branch in Charlotte.

“It’s a large marketplace and we have several large customers down there,” Comunale explained. “We had the right personnel available. Both [Kirk Schultz in Detroit, Nikki Carter in Raleigh] branch managers have many years of industry experience and joined us from the competition.”

Comunale said to expect more announcements before the end of the year.