Leading Distribution Platform Expands Footprint
Center Rock Capital Partners, LP (“Center Rock”) is pleased to announce that EJ Welch Company (“EJ Welch”), a division of its portfolio company The Merit Distribution Group (“Merit”), has completed the acquisition of Dealer’s Supply, Cheney Inc., Vrooman Carpet, Inc., and certain assets of Gilford-Johnson Flooring. With corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, EJ Welch is a leading national distributor of flooring products and related installation supplies.
With 60 years in flooring and sundry distribution, EJ Welch’s footprint now covers 26 states and nearly 45 locations across the Central and Upper Midwest, Southern and Mountain States and much of the Southeast (including Alabama, Eastern Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Florida).
“We’ve welcomed incredible talent and expertise to the EJ Welch family recently,” said President Kavita McCarthy. “The dedication and experience they bring only strengthens our ability to offer our proven model of exceptional product solutions, on-time logistics, and value-add customer service support to more customers across the US.”
Ian Kirson, Partner at Center Rock, commented, “Center Rock continues to be thrilled with the strong momentum of Merit’s M&A program. These acquisitions will enhance our EJ Welch footprint and drive accelerating growth in the business.”
About Dealer’s Supply
Dealer’s Supply was founded as the wholesale division of West Durham Lumber Company in 1949, offering linoleum sheet goods and linoleum tiles. Initially serving eastern North Carolina, the company expanded to Columbia, South Carolina in 1954 and four years later to Charlotte. By 1958, the company had phased out building supplies and increased its resilient floor covering product offerings. Carpet was added in 1968.
For more information, please visit: www.dsx.com
About Cheney, Inc. and Vrooman Carpet, Inc.
Steve Cheney founded Cheney, Inc. in 1969 as a full-service floor covering business providing both residential and commercial flooring. He later purchased Vrooman Carpet, Inc. to help augment Cheney’s product line with higher-end flooring products. Today, the business is one of the leading flooring distributors in the Upper Midwest offering the widest assortment of product offerings, well-appointed showrooms and exceptional logistics support across six states.
About Gilford-Johnson Flooring
Gilford-Johnson Flooring was founded in 1991 in Louisville, Kentucky as the commercial flooring division of Gilford Corporation. In 1999, the company entered the residential flooring market, growing from its initial base in Indiana and Kentucky to serve customers throughout the southeastern United States..
For more information, please visit: www.gilfordjohnson.com.
About The Merit Distribution Group
The Merit Distribution Group is the largest full-line distributor of painting and flooring installation sundries in the United States. Merit, through its Lancaster and EJ Welch brands, provides just-in-time delivery to retailers and installers of sundries, tools, and products used for painting and flooring installation.
About Center Rock Capital Partners
Center Rock is a Midwest-based private equity firm focused on building leading industrial companies in the lower middle market. Center Rock seeks industrial manufacturing, industrial services and industrial distribution companies headquartered in North America, often with multi-national operations and locations that serve both domestic and global markets. With substantial expertise working constructively with management teams to drive both operational and strategic improvement, Center Rock’s investment professionals have the flexibility and tools to invest in a broad array of transactions and build value in lower middle market industrial companies.