Handshake with lighting Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Lighting Reps Go Bigger: SESCO, KSA Lighting & Controls Expand Coverage via Acquisition

Manufacturers’ representative agencies in the electrical industry have been merging over the past few years to gain better geographic reach and economies of scale. Reps who specialize in lighting, while often viewed as a separate breed of rep given their influence over how specifications are written in many geographic markets, are also pursuing the advantages of size, as two recent lighting rep mergers show.

KSA Lighting & Controls, based in Hanover Park, IL, announced moves to expand its reach into central Illinois and Iowa. A recent merger with Philip McCully & Associates, Toluca, IL, which like KSA represents Acuity Brands, will allow the two agencies to combine resources to support customers in central Illinois. In related news the company announced that beginning Sept. 1 it will now represent Acuity Brands in Iowa and add a Des Moines office.

SESCO Lighting, Maitland, FL, perhaps the largest lighting rep firm in the United States, last week announced the latest move to expand its geographic reach with the acquisition of the G2 Lighting Agency, based in Birmingham, AL. G2 and its employees will be integrated into SESCO over the next month.

KSA’s acquisition of Philip McCully & Associates brings it 13 associates serving the entire central Illinois market including Bloomington, Champaign-Urbana, Decatur, Galesburg, Peoria and Springfield. The firm started in 1973 representing Acuity Brands and added many more well-known lighting and controls brands. According to information on its website, KSA was founded in 1988 as an agent for Lithonia Lighting, now part of Acuity. Jim Williams acquired the agency in 2004 and has grown it to 90-plus associates representing over 100 lighting and controls manufacturers.

“McCully & Associates is a highly respected agency that has strong market penetration and prides itself on excellent service and strong customer relationships,” said Jim Williams, president at KSA Lighting & Controls, in a press release. “Given the history between our two organizations, our shared territory borders and mutual customers, this merger is a win for both agencies. Serving as vice president of the central Illinois office, Derek McCully will oversee operational excellence and strategy deployment to ensure sales efforts drive growth. “With the strength of our internal resources combined with our growing sales and support infrastructure, we immediately become more relevant in central Illinois. Our increasing bandwidth will allow us to deliver exceptional results to all customers across the market,” Williams said.

KSA said it will be investing in additional resources around controls, application engineering, specification and design and sales growth of lighting and controls products in targeted vertical markets. A separate press release said KGA will support its representation of the Acuity line in Iowa and with satellite offices strategically placed around the state.

SESCO’s acquisition of G2 Lighting adds a firm with a 50-year history as a lighting agency serving the Alabama market. The acquisition pushes SESCO’s presence further into Gulf Coast markets, adding to its string of 13 offices in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Puerto Rico.

Todd Langner, president and CEO of SESCO Lighting, said in a press release, “Today more than ever, this acquisition helps support our growing sales efforts. This opportunity creates a unified specification, contractor and distributor support structure over our entire footprint. From a geographical standpoint, our now contiguous footprint bolsters our presence in both the greater Atlanta and Gulf Coast markets.”

Shannon Godwin, president of G2 Lighting, said “I sincerely appreciate the opportunity the SESCO family has provided G2 Lighting Agency and its employees. I am very thankful to the outstanding manufacturers and staff who supported G2 Lighting Agency over the last several years. I owe a debt of gratitude to the specifiers, distributors and contractors who supported G2 and we all look forward to a new beginning as we join the SESCO family.” 

SESCO has more than 250 employees and annual sales approaching $300 million. Founded in 1967 by Mike Segal, SESCO Lighting is now 100% employee owned through an ESOP, with 14 branch offices and eight support divisions.

“When looking at this acquisition, it quickly became apparent that Shannon Godwin and the team at G2 Lighting were an extraordinarily good fit for SESCO,” said Marshall Graham, SESCO’s chairman. “The fact that SESCO and G2 Lighting are both specification driven companies made Shannon’s team the obvious choice.”

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