Spokane Journal of Business

SESCO buys electrical unit of Pullman concern

Spokane company now employs more than 280

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Spokane Electrical Services Co., the Spokane-based parent of Rods Electric, Power City Electric, and PowerCom, has acquired the electrical contracting division of Champion Electric & Lighting, of Pullman, a 13-year-old electrical contractor and lighting retailer.

The purchase has allowed Spokane Electrical Services, which also is known as SESCO, to open a branch office in Pullmanthe companys fourth locationand to boost its employment to more than 280, says company spokesman Colin Thompson. In addition to Spokane, SESCO operates offices in Pasco and Lewiston.

We saw Pullman as a great market to get into due to a number of WSU-UI projects coming up and the relatively stable construction market there, says SESCO CEO Bruce Morelan. Washington State University, in Pullman, and the University of Idaho, in Moscow, have been the site of numerous big projects in recent years.

SESCOs newly acquired division will do business as Power City Electric and will operate out of an office that SESCO has opened at 745 N. Grand in Pullman, Thompson says. He says SESCO has hired all eight electricians who had been employed by Champion Electric, and they will be based at SESCOs Pullman office.

Thompson says Sam Young, owner of Champion Electric, decided to sell the electrical contracting side of his business and concentrate on Champions retail lighting division. Thompson declines to disclose the terms of the transaction.

SESCO was formed in September 1997 by Morelan and his wife, Kika. Prior to forming SESCO, the Morelans had owned Rods Electric, which opened here in 1948 and changed hands several times before the Morelans bought it in 1995. The Morelans formed SESCO to buy 60-year-old Power City Electric, which had been Rods Electrics main competitor.

Last year, SESCO bought the Spokane branch of Kirkland, Wash.-based Macro Com Corp., and renamed it PowerCom, establishing a new division of SESCO.

SESCOs employment has grown from 50 people when the Morelans bought Rods Electric in 1995 to more than 245 at the end of last yearmostly due to acquisitions. Thompson says a majority of the companys growth so far this year to more than 280 employees has been in response to some big projects it has been working on, such as the River Park Square project downtown and the U.S. Postal Service distribution facility being built near Spokane International Airport. He says he expects SESCOs employment to remain fairly steady for the rest of the year.

Thompson says SESCO might consider making other acquisitions, but currently has none pending. The company earlier had expressed an interest in opening branch offices in Wenatchee, Moses Lake, and Yakima, and Thompson says the company remains interested in those areas. We just consider acquisitions as they come up and as they make sense.

  • Lisa Harrell

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