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ABC Electric merges with Tri-City Electric to spark growth


ABC Electric Inc., a leading supplier of electrical systems design, installation and service in Des Moines since 1959, merged Jan. 30 with one of the Midwest’s leading specialty electrical contractors in an effort to spark growth for both companies.

Tri-City Electric Co., a Davenport-based firm recognized by industry leaders as one of the top 100 electrical contractors in the country, purchased ABC Electric for an undisclosed amount of money and assumed ownership at the end of January, company officials said.

Tri-City Electric company will move its employees from its recently established Clive office at 10170 Hickman Court, approximately 25 workers in all, to the ABC Electric location at 10520 Hickman Road, which combined with ABC Electric’s office in Ames, employs about 125 people.

Through the sale, ABC Electric becomes a division of Tri-City, but it will retain its name, its employees and its reputation for quality service, said ABC Electric Vice President John Irving.

“Everybody’s happy about the change. It’s a step toward the future,” said Irving, who will remain as vice president. “We want our customers to know everything will remain the same, including our employees and our place of business, but now we will be able to offer new services, too.”

Founded 44 years ago by Ed Irving and Dave Ward, ABC Electric has worked on several high-profile projects in the metro area. Projects include work on both phases of Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Altoona, the new Electronic Data Systems Corp. facility on Army Post Road and Super Target stores in Urbandale and Ankeny.

John Irving said Ward became sole owner of the company after his father, Ed, retired. He said Ward, who is 65 years old, retired as president of the company upon the sale to Tri-City, but will remain on board as a consultant.

“The sale coincides with Dave’s retirement,” Irving said. “He saw a need for him to slow down, but still be active and allow our company to grow. With all the major projects coming up in Des Moines, this allows us to be stronger in the market.”

This is the second merger ABC Electric has been involved with in as many years. Two years ago, Johnson Electric, one of the oldest electrical contractor businesses in Des Moines, merged with ABC Electric. Its third-generation owner Dennis Johnson, joined the ABC Electric team, bringing work on such projects as the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines, Sec Taylor Stadium and the new Iowa State Historical Building.

Tri-City, which works throughout the Midwest and has offices in Davenport and Galesburg, Ill., was founded in 1895.

Irving said he is excited about the possibilities of both companies working toward a common goal – expansion.

“Growth is the object for both companies,” he said. “They’re new to Des Moines and wanted to grow in this area and we do, too, so this allows us to grow together in the marketplace.”

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