In May 2007, venture capital firm Excel Capital Partners purchased Hammond Industrial Services. “They found out that we may be interested in selling after they purchased Hammond,” president and CEO of the new company John Selinsky told Cranes Today. In January 2008, Excel bought out the three Selinsky companies: Henry A Selinsky, Meredith Erectors and Selinsky Brothers.

“We wanted to market the companies as one brand,” Selinsky said. “In the first year, we tried to do it with the new companies remaining independent, but it just didn’t seem to work. Customers were confused about how they were related. We hired a marketing firm, and they did a lot of investigation and market study, and found that if we put all four companies under one name, it would better leverage marketing capacity and offer more opportunities for us.

“In some ways, what Hammond and we did overlapped about 25% in services that we both offer. The rest are separate [and complementary]. We both do industrial maintenance. They do refractory (furnace lining) work and concrete. We work in general construction, do steel erection, heavy machinery moving, crane and manlift rental.”

Selinsky said that the cooperation benefits both Hammond and the Selinsky group. “We now have the opportunity to go in and offer combined capacities, to be a one-stop shop, to take care of their maintenance, concrete and refractory needs. If they need trucking, we can do that too.”

He adds that the group is continuing to look to expand horizontally, depending on the available opportunities, such as sheet metal and piping installation, for example, or maintenance or upgrade services in coal-fired power plants.

The company currently works in about a 100mi radius of headquarters in Canton, Ohio. Selinsky said that Selinsky Force would be doubling its operational radius to attract new business. The company employs 250 people year round, doubling to 500 during the peak season for factory outages in the summer.

Selinsky said that although he expects 2009 to be a tough year for business, he remains confident that the company’s expansion plans will see it through without having to chase the market down to the bottom. “The markets may skinny down, and get tighter, but selling services can be more competitive.”

Henry A Selinsky, John’s grandfather, founded the company in 1932 as a heavy machinery moving and rigging company. The company also did steel erection. He died in 1956. John Selinsky’s father ran the company until 1978, when John took over.

John Selinsky said that he was looking to sell out in 2007 after some of the management team were retiring, and the market seemed favourable. “The stars were all in line. We had had some very good years, grown a bit, and the economy was good. It was the right timing for us.”