An employee-owned distributor of hydraulic and industrial hose, fittings and rigging supplies, the Alaska Rubber Group doubled its size with the addition of the five hydraulic and industrial hose operations in the state of Washington.
The deal expanded its distribution network across southeast Alaska, which is primarily serviced from Washington, and throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Businesses acquired include Pacific Rubber Inc. of Seattle; Port of Tacoma-based Timco Inc.; North Sound Hose and Fittings in Everett; Central Hose and Fittings in Pasco; and Inland Pacific Hose and Fittings of Spokane.
The companies were purchased from a group of owners, two of whom were founders of Alaska Rubber.
"We're always exploring opportunities for growth, and it is exciting to see where this new addition to our group will take us," said Janeece Higgins, president and CEO of the Alaska Rubber Group. "Some of the former owners of the Washington stores, Don and Drennon Adams, were the original founders of the Alaska locations. We all started with a similar model. It's kind of our DNA."
She said she has known some of the employees at the Washington locations for years, "and the knowledge and experience they bring will help shape the future of the company."
She noted that everyone involved with the Washington operations will help shape the future of the entire group.
All of the acquired locations have stores and warehouses; all fabricate and distribute hydraulic and industrial hose.
The expanded group serves the oil, mining, fishing, timber, agriculture, wine, government, trade, original equipment and construction industries.
Several new lines have been added with the addition of the Washington businesses, Mortensen said, "and we'll make them available throughout the group. The Washington stores will do the same with products from Alaska Rubber."
Formed in 1980 and headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska Rubber has three locations—in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Wasilla.
Each location purchased will retain its original name, but each will be branded as an Employee Owned Alaska Rubber Group Company. "We definitely want to keep the local culture at each location intact," Mortensen said.
"There's a strong commitment within each store to customer service, and over the years each store has developed a loyal customer base," he said.
As the company integrates the acquired facilities into the group, Mortensen said, it will look to find efficiencies, win new customers with expanded offerings and the group's expanded skill set, and capitalize on economies of scale as a much larger operation.
"In addition to these obvious goals, we are bringing the energy and empowerment of employee ownership," Mortensen said.
"In our experience, as employees begin to understand they have a stake in the company, significant growth is a natural byproduct," he said.