By Ken Ryan
E.J. Welch Company, a division of Center Rock Capital Partners’ Merit Distribution Group, has signed a letter of intent to acquire controlling interest in T&L Distributing. The transaction is expected to take effect Sept. 30, according to Tom Karol, CEO of T&L Distributing, who announced the deal.
With more than 50 years in flooring and sundry distribution, E.J. Welch’s footprint spans 14 states with 25 locations. T&L Distributing, meanwhile, has been in business more than 40 years, with nine locations across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee.
The companies have several common key suppliers, including Tarkett, Raskin Industries, Centaur, Ardex and Taylor Adhesives.
Paul Murfin, president of Taylor Adhesives, told FCNews that Taylor enjoys a strong relationship with both T&L and E.J. Welch. “We expect Welch’s additional focus on sundries along with their aggressive growth plans to add even more focus to our product offering,” he said.
Mike Welch, president of E.J. Welch, said the employees of both T&L and Welch “are extremely excited about the opportunities and synergies with this merger.”
Kavita McCarthy, vice president of marketing–flooring division, E.J. Welch, added, “What attracted us to T&L was the opportunity to have a great team of associates join our organization while providing opportunity for us to expand our footprint. It is our goal to onboard as many of the T&L associates as possible into the E.J. Welch organization as we work to integrate the two distribution businesses.”
In 2016, T&L was sold to Tom Karol, former owner of distribution powerhouse LDBrinkman in Dallas. In discussing this latest move, Karol said given the changing dynamics of flooring distribution, “we wanted to find a strategic partner that would leverage T&L’s innovative marketing, strong logistics network and skilled sales team. E.J. Welch’s commitment to best-in-class products and service will benefit our customers, employees and vendor partners. The combined companies will be well positioned as a leader in the flooring market.”