At the close of 2018, we wrote an article commemorating the significant strides we took that started to help us grow beyond our southeastern roots. The map below portrays where we started this year, in eight states with roughly 37 locations.
Our first acquisition of 2019 added locations in two of Texas’s thriving markets: Austin and San Antonio. The addition of Ace Fire Equipment to the Pye-Barker team helped round out our coverage of the southeastern corner of the state and was the perfect complement to our acquisitions in that territory the previous year. We then bolstered our presence in two of our existing markets with the acquisition of Hernando Fire in central Florida and Fire Protection Services Corp, which was incorporated into PBFS Savannah.
In June we announced our entrance into Utah. The acquisition of Utah Fire Equipment was an exciting milestone for our company as it established three offices in a new state and carried the Pye-Barker name farther west. Our efforts to build a presence in this part of the country continued with the purchases of Tri County Fire Protection in Colorado and Universal Fire Equipment in Oregon. With Tri County Fire we gained five more Colorado locations which, when combined with our existing locations in Denver, Colorado Springs, and Greeley, announced to the state that we were determined to become Colorado’s premier fire protection provider.
The acquisition of Universal Fire marked an important milestone for Pye-Barker: we were officially a coast-to-coast fire protection provider, with 50 locations across 10 states. Amidst our western expansion, we were also exploding into the Miami, FL market. We entered Miami with the purchase of Sea Coast Fire, the area’s primary marine fire suppression provider. We then added Triangle Fire to the Pye-Barker team. The purchase of this Doral-based company caught the attention of many in our industry and clearly demonstrated our determination to become the premier fire protection option in every market we enter. Finally, we acquired family companies Ace Fire Sprinklers/A Fire Protection Plus in Hialeah, Florida. Through this addition, we were able to offer fire sprinkler and backflow services to our southeastern Florida communities for the first time.
We made two more acquisitions in Florida before the close of the year. We purchased Gulf Coast Fire & Safety in Sarasota and incorporated their qualified staff with our existing office in that location. Then in November we were excited to announce the acquisition of Interstate Fire Systems, Inc. in Tallahassee, through which we gained a branch in Florida’s coveted panhandle. This was the climax of our efforts to become a recognized name in the state’s fire protection industry, a goal which we can safely say we achieved.
We ended last year with an acquisition in the state of Kentucky. This fall we added the country’s other “K” state to the Pye-Barker map with the addition of Kansas Fire Equipment to the PBFS family in mid-November. After this, we had three more important acquisitions to announce before the end of the year. With the acquisition of AAA Fire & Safety Equipment in Austin, Texas we strengthened our presence in an existing territory by gaining an extensive customer base and expanding our service capabilities. It was then that we announced our first Tallahassee, Florida branch, as mentioned above, leaving a final acquisition to end the year strong.
On December 20, 2019 we shared our entrance into our eleventh state with the acquisition of Empire Fire & Safety, Inc. and its subsidiaries. With this addition, we secured our first branch in the state of Wyoming and expanded the capabilities of our current Denver office. After a busy year acquiring companies at an unprecedented rate for our company, the final footprint for Pye-Barker at the close of the decade spans from coast to coast, reflecting the impressive accomplishments of the past few years.
We would like to applaud our teams across the nation for working every day to protect property and life for our communities. We would also like to thank the owners of our acquired companies for considering Pye-Barker as part of their exit strategy and for placing the futures of their employees into our hands. Many of the employees we gained through these acquisitions have already taken advantage of the growth opportunities Pye-Barker has available, and the owners have been able to watch their companies continue to flourish and grow under our care.
After another year of breaking our own records, we can only look forward to 2020 with hope and excitement for the accomplishments and new territories sure to come. Thank you for trusting us to protect what matters most.
If you are interested in what an exit plan with Pye-Barker would look like, please reach out to our Director of Business Development, Chuck Reimel. He can be reached directly at 910-612-6252, or you can send him a private message through LinkedIn to learn more about the incredible opportunities we can offer you and your business.