Sunbelt & Solomon Transform a Market

Two former competitors join forces to optimize a prime sector

Sunbelt Transformer has merged with Solomon Corporation, the companies announced in a July 1 press release. The deal is being orchestrated under the guidance of private equity firm Trilantic Capital Partners North America.

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Sunbelt Tranformers’ service division at work.—Sunbelt Transformers photo.

Sunbelt and Solomon were formerly competitors who essentially do the same thing: manufacture, buy, sell, and repair transformers. Both companies specialize in all three areas and advertise their ability to take on surplus inventory from other companies, then remanufacture and resell it.

Geography may have been a factor in this merger; Sunbelt’s locations are all near large metropolitan areas, while Solomon has large plants all in separate, rural areas. The merger now boasts a joint venture that peppers all parts of the U.S. map in 10 states.

Both companies will retain individual name recognition as part of the transaction, with Tom Smith, CEO of Sunbelt, being appointed Chairman and CEO of the combined entity. The companies say “key leaders from both organizations remaining on board to guide the business’ next phase of growth.” Noted Sunbelt employees Aaron Mehocic, a winder at its Sharon, Pa., location and Ken Bryman, a regional manager at the Temple, Tex., location (in between Waco and Austin) have appeared in the pages of Electrical Apparatus before.

Sunbelt’s other locations are in Bakersfield, Calif., Greenville, S.C., Conroe, Tex. (north of Houston), Pompano Beach, Fla. (north of Fort Lauderdale), and Englewood, Col. (south Denver metro area). The company was founded in 1981.

Solomon, meanwhile, has an additional decade of experience, stemming from its hometown of the same name in north-central Kansas, which has a population of 1,095. This is a trend with Solomon; large plants serving as crucial employers in small towns for the past five decades. The original location in Solomon, Kan., founded in 1971, still serves as company headquarters, now a 100,000 square foot facility providing all the company’s services.

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An aerial view of Solomon Corporation’s original plant in Solomon, Kansas, founded in 1971.—Solomon Corporation photo.

 

A look at Solomon’s other locations, which paint a refreshing picture of sustained success in the often-overlooked small towns of middle America:

Decatur, Tenn.: East Tennessee, halfway between Chattanooga and Knoxville, population 1,598. Location employs 80.

Grand Junction, Colo.: West Colorado, halfway between Denver and Salt Lake City. Hub of Colorado’s wine country, larger city than their other locations. Smaller premises (6,000 sq feet, 22 employees). At this location, one might recognize names like Luke Younger, plant manager, from the pages of EA.

Georgetown, Tex.: In between Austin & Waco, near Sunbelt’s Temple, Tex., location.

Prairie du Chien, Wisc.: Directly west of Madison, on the Mississippi River at the Wisconsin/Iowa border. Location added in 2016.

Osage City, Kan.: Eastern Kansas, in between Wichita and K.C. Recently acquired another shop there. Small location.

Flandreau, S.D.: On the South Dakota/Minnesota border, a couple hours north of Sioux Falls. Location was acquired in 2018, is called Dakota American Transformers. 51,000 square feet.

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