Pye-Barker Fire Acquires Nardini Fire Equipment

L-R: PBFS Director of Integration Byrd Miller, CEO Bart Proctor, PBFS Denver Branch Manager Chris Uhrich, Nardini Fire Owner Tom Nardini, PBFS VP of Business Development Chuck Reimel, COO Joseph Hightower, Nardini Fire COO Dominic Nardini
Pye-Barker Fire & Safety is proud to announce its acquisition of Nardini Fire Equipment Company, an innovative fire protection company headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota and Fargo, North Dakota. With this acquisition, Pye-Barker Fire strengthens its presence in the Midwest while expanding its national footprint by adding services in five new states: Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.  The full press release can be read at this link, while more information about Nardini Fire’s history and acquisition can be read below:

Nardini Fire is proud to be a multi-generational family company.  Founded in 1949 by Ralph Nardini Jr. in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the company grew quickly to meet the demand in surrounding communities.  They added their second headquarters in Fargo, North Dakota through the acquisition of a small fire protection company in the 1980’s.  Their branches in Brainerd, MN and Bismarck, ND were opened over the next twenty years as the business continued to grow.  By the early 2000’s, Nardini Fire was proudly serving businesses in five states from their core locations.

Owner Tom Nardini with his son, Dominic.
In 2000, Ralph’s son Tom Nardini became the full owner of the company and continued his father’s legacy.  Around 2018, Tom began shifting some of the responsibilities to the company’s VP and Toms’ business partner Chris Jensen, plus his own son Dominic Nardini, who functioned as the company’s COO.  The original intention was to transition Chris and Dominic to full ownership as Tom was beginning to plan future retire.  In preparation for this, Tom consulted with a close friend in the business to help establish a valuation of the company.

During this process, Tom reached out to a few active fire protection companies with a national but not a regional presence in their area, including Pye-Barker Fire.  Pye-Barker piqued their interest, so they decided to have a commitment-free in-person meeting with PBFS CEO, Bart Proctor, and VP of Business Development, Chuck Reimel.

“Chris and I left that meeting very impressed with the people, our discussion, their articulation of a clear plan for expansion, but a very casual attitude about pushing us into making a deal,” Tom shared.  They decided to hear Pye-Barker’s ballpark offer.  Based on that introductory figure, they began the process of learning more about the company, our values, and our ambitions. More importantly, they wanted to understand how their employees would fit into the organization. With some additional data and discussion, they concluded that a merger would be the best choice for their employees and the continued growth of the family business.

L-R: PBFS Regional Directors Jason Uhrich and Brian Lumsden with Nardini Fire VP Chris Jensen and Nardini Fargo, ND Branch Manager Joe Westbrock
“We felt the core values and culture of the Pye-Barker Family aligned seamlessly with the Nardini Fire Family,” said Chris Jensen, Nardini Fire’s VP and Tom’s business partner.  “The Nardini Fire employees are our number one priority, and we felt confident that Pye-Barker will allow our Team to carry out a successful future in the fire protection industry.”

Tom’s son Dominic Nardini echoed this sentiment: “Pye-Barker conveyed how much they wanted us to keep doing what we are already doing. They also brought up their retention rate from previous acquisitions. Nardini Fire has been such a strong fire protection contractor in the market because of our employees, so it was very important for us to retain our whole team.”

The sale was formalized on December 31, 2020, marking a strong end to the year for the Pye-Barker team, and a strong positive beginning for continued success in the new year.

“Nardini Fire is a long-standing, industry-leading fire protection business with a strong reputation that is highly respected from coast-to-coast,” said Bart Proctor, CEO of Pye-Barker Fire. “Their platform will provide a solid foundation for continued expansion throughout the Midwest.”

The Pye-Barker Fire team is proud to welcome the Nardini Fire family into our company, and to have the great honor of carrying on the legacy of this well-known name in our industry.