Las Vegas, Nev.-based Kelly's Pipe & Supply, a four-location plumbing wholesaler, was acquired by Hajoca Corp., Ardmore, Pa., in March. Brad Shoen, former owner and president of Kelly's Pipe & Supply, said that Hajoca is now operating those Kelly's Pipe locations but has not changed the name, and all of Kelly's top management have remained in place. Chris Dresch is general manager, Rob Schibetta handles operations/MIS; Steve Schibetta oversees the showrooms and Don Sims is purchasing agent. Shoen is remaining with Hajoca in a consulting role, managing the four Kelly's locations and six Hajoca locations in Las Vegas and Southern California.

The sale of Todd Pipe and Standard Wholesale in Las Vegas to Hughes Supply in 2004 created the opportunity for this sale, Shoen said.

“The market goes through different cycles,” he explained. “There was a huge burst of acquisition activity in the mid- to late-90s, then it slowed down. It picked up again recently. The increase in acquisition activity created an environment where I started getting phone calls about my company,” Shoen said. The Las Vegas market is fairly small; Kelly's Pipe & Supply has been one of the larger players, he noted.

“I talked to several different people,” Shoen said. “I felt Hajoca was the best fit for my company. This acquisition enables us to continue doing business in the same way we have done since 1960. Hajoca is a confederacy of independent businesses. Not a whole lot has changed, but now we have stronger financial backing. Employees will have greater opportunities for advancement. Further expansion of our business is possible.

“The main reason for selling to Hajoca was to enable Kelly's Pipe & Supply and the showrooms (European Bath, Kitchen, Tile & Stone) to continue as close to 'business as usual' as possible,” Shoen said.

- Pat Lenius