Tri-Ed/Northern buys SGI

Deal brings 13 branch offices in the Southwest, and Tri-Ed will also open an office in Cincinnati
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Friday, November 30, 2012

WOODBURY, N.Y.—Tri-Ed/Northern today closed a deal to buy San Antonio-based SGI, a wholesale distributor with 13 branches and about 80 employees, Pat Comunale, Tri-Ed/Northern president and CEO, told Security Systems News.

“It definitely makes us the dominant independent distributor in the Southwest,” Comunale said. “And it gets us into six additional markets that we were not in.”

“We’re holding true to form on our buy-and-build strategy,” he said. “We are also going to open a location in Cincinnati.”

SGI is headquartered in San Antonio, where it also has a DataCom office. Other SGI branches in Texas are in Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston, Houston West, McAllen and Austin, in addition to offices in Orange, Calif., Albuquerque, N.M., Tulsa, Okla., Oklahoma City and Phoenix.

SGI was owned by Lannie Green, who is retiring from the company. About 80 SGI employees, including senior staffers Matt Green and Jason Dennis, will join Tri-Ed/Northern.

Comunale said that the landscape for security distributors is shifting.

“You have a lot more leverage with scale,” he said. “Years ago, you didn’t have general-line distributors to compete against, but as more and more Fortune 500 companies get into security, it’s increasingly difficult to compete and get products.”

The SGI purchase follows the July acquisition of Seabreeze Security Distributors of Orlando, Fla., and the opening of two new branch offices: one in Detroit and one in Raleigh, N.C.

In April, Tri-Ed was acquired by private equity firm Audax Group.
 
“It’s been an incredible year and we believe 2013 will look a lot like 2012,” Comunale said. “We’re excited about the growth of the business. We have the right team to execute the plan. And Audax is a great partner.”

Where will Tri-Ed/Northern go next?

Comunale said the “last open territory for us is Kentucky and Tennessee, and that’s where we’ll be looking for opportunistic acquisitions.” Beyond that, Tri-Ed’s buy-and-build strategy means “we want to have a local presence in every major market.”