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ARCHIVED  October 22, 1999

Colotex acquire Colotex Electrical

LOVELAND — Westburne Inc. (ME:WBI), a prominent Canadian distributor of electrical supplies, has plugged into Colorado with acquisitions of Denver-based Blazer Electric and, most recently, Loveland’s Colotex Electrical Supply.

The deal is expected to close on Oct. 31, at which time current Colotex owner Douglas Hample will turn over ownership of the company to Westburne and assume the role of manager. There are currently no plans to change the Colotex name, officials at Westburne confirmed.

“We’ve reached the maximum potential for growth in Canada,” reported John Hanna, Westburne chief financial officer and executive vice president of finance and administration. “Now we’re diversifying. We want to go into the U.S. more.”

Currently, 30 percent of Westburne’s total sales originate in the U.S., but the company’s goal is to reach 50 percent, Hanna said. “We want to become a dominant player in that region.”

Colotex, which was locally founded in 1975, and Blazer posted 1998 revenues of approximately $28 million and $46 million respectively, with a combined 12 Colorado branches.

Hanna emphasized that the acquisition will not affect any of Colotex’s 60 to 65 employees.

“On the contrary, the acquisition will have only a positive effect,” he noted, adding that if anything, employees would benefit from joining a larger corporation.

“Colotex represented a nice fit — very profitable with great management and a nice offering with its branch network, which was very complementary to Blazer,” Hanna said. These businesses are very autonomous. There’s no need for us to fix them.”

Consolidated Electrical Distributors Inc. (CED) of Fort Collins, a local competitor of Colotex with 16 employees, has operated in the regional market for electrical supplies since 1957.

“It’s a saturated market,´ said CED manager Jeff Hill. “There’s far more distributors in this market area than is necessary.”

But Hill is not concerned by Westburne’s entrance. “I don’t think it’s going to make that much of an impact. I don’t see them changing much,” he said.

Like Westburne’s Colotex, CED is a locally-managed business operating under the umbrella of a much larger corporation. Hill added. “Westburne is very much like our own company — we’re a large company, yes, but each location is an independent, autonomous business taking care of its own customers in its own market area.”

LOVELAND — Westburne Inc. (ME:WBI), a prominent Canadian distributor of electrical supplies, has plugged into Colorado with acquisitions of Denver-based Blazer Electric and, most recently, Loveland’s Colotex Electrical Supply.

The deal is expected to close on Oct. 31, at which time current Colotex owner Douglas Hample will turn over ownership of the company to Westburne and assume the role of manager. There are currently no plans to change the Colotex name, officials at Westburne confirmed.

“We’ve reached the maximum potential for growth in Canada,” reported John Hanna, Westburne chief financial officer and executive vice president of finance and administration. “Now we’re diversifying.…

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