Tri-Ed Distribution

Summary

Partnered with management team to catalyze growth by opening eight greenfield locations as well as sourcing and integrating four acquisitions.

Background

Headquartered in Woodbury, New York, Tri-Ed Distribution (“Tri-Ed”) is a leading independent distributor of low-voltage electronic security and data connectivity products in North America. The company serves all four major segments of the security market, including video, access control, intrusion detection, and fire/life safety. Additionally, Tri-Ed has grown its presence in the data and communications market. Tri-Ed’s multi-channel approach to the market allowed it to gain market share during Audax’ ownership by servicing all segments from local dealers and installers to integrators and national accounts such as ADT.

Challenge

While Tri-Ed had established a reliable platform as a distributor of security and low-voltage technology products, it was evident that there was opportunity for expansion across North America. When Audax Private Equity acquired Tri-Ed in April of 2012, Tri-Ed had 47 branches primarily located on the East and West Coasts, as well as Canada. Our strategy focused on expanding Tri-Ed’s geographic reach and addressable market through add-on acquisitions and greenfield openings.

Together with management, Audax completed four acquisitions during our ownership, including SGI in November 2012. SGI added $85 million in revenue and 14 branches in the Southwest, a region previously underserved by Tri-Ed. During Audax’ ownership, Tri-Ed opened eight greenfield locations in two years, which was the same number the company had completed in the six years prior to Audax acquiring the company.

The Audax Difference

Audax proved to be a terrific match for Tri-Ed in supporting the company’s organic growth by strengthening Tri-Ed’s systems and infrastructure to enable that expansion. During Audax’ ownership, Tri-Ed implemented a salesforce CRM, barcoding and warehouse management modules, and also launched an e-commerce web and mobile platform to support its omni-channel strategy. In addition, Audax supported the growth of the platform through executive team hires, including a VP of IT and a VP of Operations.

After improving Tri-Ed’s market position as a leading independent, national player, Audax sold Tri-Ed in September 2014 to Anixter International.


Audax’ expertise in helping us execute our Buy and Build strategy was essential for improving Tri-Ed’s market position and expanding our end market and geographic presence.”

  • Pat Comunale CEO, Tri-Ed

The Tri-Ed management team did an exceptional job building the company through continued organic growth, greenfields, and integrating multiple acquisitions that penetrated new markets and products. Today, the company is a clear North American leader and positioned for continued growth and success.”

  • Jay Mitchell Managing Director, Audax