ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Harris Companies, mechanical contractors, have acquired 100 percent interest in Superior Air Handling Corp., an employee-owned sheet metal contractor in Clearfield, Utah.

According to Harris President and CEO Greg Hosch, acquiring Superior is one more piece of its strategy of growing by acquisition, as well as internally, as through the November 2007 purchase of Climate Control of Phoenix. The Superior acquisition will grow Harris revenues by $30-50 million per year, and represents a significant strengthening of its brand in the target markets of the West, Southwest, and Midwest.

Founded as a family-owned operation in 1948, the same year as Harris, Superior has been a union-shop traveling contractor since the 1970s, explained Robert Huey, president. Beginning with general contractors in California, Superior has worked on projects in the nuclear power, high-rise, semiconductor, sports facility, and health care industries.

Superior said it has developed a unique system for engineering, labeling, and shipping ductwork from Clearfield, Utah, to all parts of the county. “The key to our system,” Huey stated, “starts in our engineering department. We create shop drawings by numbering every piece of ductwork that will be installed on a job. This system also allows tracking all pieces through fabrication and shipping. All shipments are provided with a detailed bill of lading, which allows project teams on the job site to plan more efficiently. The result is that even on the most complex, high-tech project, our work can be assembled in the field like an erector set.”

An employee-owned company since 1997, Superior recently came up against demanding new bonding requirements, said Huey, which urged them to seek a partner like Harris with bonding capabilities and “substantial net worth.” As part of the Harris Companies, Superior now also has access to Harris’s piping and controls expertise, which opens up new markets.

Based in St. Paul, Minn., the Harris Companies are one of the largest mechanical contractors in the United States. They design, build, install, control, and maintain piping, plumbing, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and electrical systems. As design-build and design-assist specialists, they partner with general contractors and other customers across the country on a variety of projects. The Harris Companies include Harris Mechanical, St. Paul; HiMEC Mechanical, Rochester, Minn.; Climate Control, Phoenix; and TRAK International, a provider of geothermal heating and cooling systems, with offices in St. Paul and Kelowna, British Columbia.

Publication date:07/07/2008