M-D buys Washington-based Morse Industries

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 By: Molly M. Fleming Source: The Journal Record

M-D Building Products will have more places to distribute its products after acquiring a Washington-based company.

M-D acquired the family-owned Morse Industries. Morse has distribution sites in Kent, Washington, its headquarters; Indian Trail, North Carolina; and Brea, California.

M-D Building Chairman and President Loren Plotkin said the company did not have distribution sites in Southern California or the Northwest, which was an opportunity that came with the acquisition.

Morse’s product lines include metal and glass railing, shower door enclosures, architectural extrusions, and slide track systems. The products are sold directly to commercial installers.

Morse Director of Business Development Jeremy Nolan said the company could have sold to a competitor or an investment group, but M-D had a lot to offer. The Morse family liked that being acquired by M-D would allow the company to expand its product line and go into manufacturing, rather than only being a distributor.

“There was big consideration that M-D has always been a family-run business,” Nolan said. “They had shared values and integrity, with a focus on providing the best customer service.

M-D designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of residential and commercial weatherproofing products, including door and window weather stripping, and garage door weather stripping. Caulking sold under the Tower Sealants and DuPont brands are also made by M-D.

The company headquarters and factory is on N. Santa Fe Avenue but is highly visible from Interstate 235. The bright yellow logo on the gray buildings can be seen on the east side of the road.

Plotkin said M-D was contacted by a third-party company that was helping Morse find a buyer.

“We thought it was a really good fit,” he said. “The (Morse family) was looking for an exit and transition plan.”

Morse Industries is operated by Terry, Larry, and Jeff Morse. They will stay on for the next three years to help with the transition.

“That will make it easy for us,” Plotkin said.

The acquisition does give Oklahoma City headquarters’ employees the chance to move into a management position, he said. M-D will also hire salespeople near the three distribution centers so they can grow the customer base.

The acquisition came on the eve of the city of Oklahoma City’s Economic Development Trust approving a $157,500 joint economic development agreement with M-D. The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber started working with M-D in 2016 on its expansion.

In January 2017, the trust approved a resolution for Economic Development Program Manager Brent Bryant and his staff to create an agreement with M-D. At Tuesday’s meeting, the trust approved the joint resolution agreement for $157,500. M-D will add 105 jobs over the next five years, which was planned before the Morse acquisition.

Bryant explained during Tuesday’s meeting that the agreement was performance-based. And while it took a year to get together, the company doesn’t get any money until the job plan starts to get fulfilled.

In October, the company opened a 100,000-square-foot warehouse, which helped it increase its local inventory and shipping capabilities.

Councilman and OCEDT member John Pettis said during the meeting that he was at the grand opening and was happy to see so many Ward 7 residents working in the ward.

Councilman and OCEDT Chairman Larry McAtee said jokingly that he hoped the M-D acquisition went better than the Seattle SuperSonics or the relocation of the elephant from Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo.

Read the story at JournalRecord.com

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