The industry was abuzz this week with news that Newport News, Va.-based Ferguson Enterprises – the largest U.S. distributor of plumbing supplies, PVF, waterworks, fire and fabrication product, which also offers lighting – has acquired McDonough, Ga.-based Millennium Lighting™, which manufactures decorative residential and commercial lighting as well as a popular RLM line.
“Millennium Lighting is well-known and respected, with market credibility, visibility, and industry support. The Millennium Lighting team and business model is an outstanding addition to Ferguson and we look forward to the opportunities ahead,” notes Christine Dwyer, Director/Communications & Public Relations for Ferguson.
According to Jake Schlicher, Ferguson’s Senior VP/Strategic Brand Development, the acquisition is a win-win. “Our ownership will provide even more investment into the business and will allow Millennium to expand its product offering, capabilities, and marketing to strengthen its brand. All of this will drive higher visibility and growth for Millennium Lighting and help their customers grow their lighting business.”
Schlicher says Ferguson will maintain separation between its own brand lighting and the Millennium Lighting business, adding, “Ferguson owns many diverse businesses and promotes that strategic acquisitions like Millennium Lighting operate independently.” When asked if the alliance would give Ferguson certain exclusivity, Schlicher states, “Millennium’s distribution practices will remain the same, and Ferguson will be treated as any of Millennium’s customers.”
In keeping with the decision to operate the businesses distinctly and separately, there will not be any noticeable synergy between the companies’ Web sites or other operations. “Millennium Lighting will operate as they have – this includes operations, sales, and distribution practices,” Schlicher remarks. “We will continue to invest in Millennium’s online presence and update the site when new products come available. Additional investment allows for innovation and new product development to meet growing customer needs and ensure a robust pipeline of new products for Millennium Lighting.”
When asked how the acquisition would impact the lighting showroom channel, including those distributors who are already Millennium customers, Schlicher affirms, “Ferguson’s wholesale business has absolutely no bearing on products available to other lighting showrooms. This decision remains with the management team at Millennium Lighting, as it always has. Millennium will continue to develop and offer products that best meet the market needs.”