HOUSTON—U.S. Zinc Inc. is launching a national distribution strategy for its zinc oxide division through a partnership with KODA Distribution Group.
The partnership, finalized in July, went into effect Aug. 1. The company said the new approach will streamline points of contact for customers across the U.S.
"Now that they're going through an acquisition mode and expanding into the areas we're trying to be more active in, I think it made sense to go ahead and try to partner up with them on a larger scale because of the national coverage they have," said Tracy Baugh, vice president of commercial at U.S. Zinc.
KODA is comprised of five regional distributors in the U.S.: Monson Companies Inc. (New England); GMZ Inc. (Ohio Valley/Midwest); Ribelin Sales Inc. (Southwest); E.W. Kaufmann Co. (Northwest/Mid-Atlantic); and P.T. Hutch- ins Co. (West).
U.S. Zinc had a previous distribution agreement with Ribelin Sales and GMZ. It had been in negotiations with KODA to expand its partnership since the beginning of 2013. Then in May, KODA purchased E.W. Kaufmann, which also had a relationship with U.S. Zinc. According to Frank Bergonzi, KODA president and CEO, the acquisition served as a catalyst in finishing the deal.
"We felt that to partner with them in total, to have a national footprint was advantageous to us because they're a global leader," Bergonzi said.
"We had a current relationship across three of our companies," he said. "They were a known entity to us, and we felt that they were number one in their industry. We decided that this would be a good partnership to have."
KODA also distributes for Huntsman Corp. and Kronos Worldwide Inc., among others.
Bergonzi said KODA brings a wealth of technical experience, transparency and a streamlined sales process in addition to five technical labs. KODA owns and operates two construction labs, a coatings lab, a printing ink lab and a plastics lab.
"I think that will really benefit our customers in particular," Baugh said. "We can service our customers' technical needs much more quickly. If for some reason our labs are busy, we can turn to them and somehow get services though our partnership with KODA."