Gustave A. Larson Joins Hajoca, Strengthening Both Distributors in HVAC

It follows Hajoca’s May 2022 launch of its HVAC unit and looks to significantly bolster the company’s offerings outside of plumbing, heating and industrial supplies.
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A little more than seven months after announcing the launch of its HVAC division, Hajoca has found a major piece to expand it.

On Jan. 5, Hajoca and the Larson family that owns distributors Gustave A. Larson (Larson) and Applied Product Solutions (APS) announced that they entered a partnership in which Hajoca takes a majority ownership.

Larson and APS will continue to operate as a separate, combined entity with their current leadership under Hajoca — a major plumbing, HVAC and industrial supplies distributor based in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania. Hajoca was No. 16 on MDM’s 2022 Top Industrial Distributors List (No. 4 in Plumbing).

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Pewaukee, Wisconsin-based Gustave A. Larson is a well-known distributor of HVACR equipment, parts and supplies serving the U.S. midwest, plains and mountain states. Family-owned and operated since 1936, the company has approximately 500 employees across 54 locations in 20 states. That includes APS, which operates as an HVAC distributor and services provider out of Utah locations in Salt Lake City and St. George. Together, the Larson companies represent more than 450 manufacturers.

A news release states that the partnership with Hajoca and Larson accelerates Hajoca’s strategic intent to become a leader in the HVAC market. That movement was started in earnest with Hajoca’s May 2022 launch of its national HVAC division, which is led by 22-year company veteran Marshall Maedgen.

“We will leverage our HVAC success in Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Colorado. These profit centers will be the foundation for building a strong and broad national presence and channel,” Maedgen said in that launch announcement.

With roots dating back to 1858, Hajoca has over 450 locations that operate under more than 50 different regionally-established trade names. The company is part of Blackfriars Corporation, a holding company with interests across multiple distribution sectors internationally, including electrical (Consolidated Electrical Distributors, U.S. Electrical Services) and plastics distribution (US Polymershapes, North American Plastics and Total Plastics). 

Strategically, the operating model of Blackfriars has been one of independent, de-centralized operating units with strong leadership and local customer relationships. This partnership fits that mold, and gives Larson the platform to grow its current super-regional footprint.

“Larson has built a strong reputation for setting a new standard in supporting their customers and people. I love their focus on making it easy by making it personal,” Hajoca CEO Rick Fantham said. “I admire the Larson way of values-based leadership and being driven to provide impactful business solutions. I am energized by the opportunity to work with Andrew and Scott and their teams to build on their legacy and support their vision of growth and opportunity.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to join the Hajoca team,” added Scott Larson, Gustave A. Larson President. “Their core values of fairness & caring, trust & respect, generous listening and straight talk match up perfectly with our LARSON values. The combination of the two organizations ensures the Larson legacy as a family business and will allow us to grow and serve our customers into the future. We are excited by the possibilities for organic growth as well as being a welcoming home for HVAC/R owners and companies that share our values to join us.”

In a November 2021 MDM Premium piece, we detailed how Gustave A. Larson recently underwent a sales transformation in which the company transitioned from a traditional outside sales approach to one that includes an omnichannel approach. Larson Vice President of Sales and Marketing Matt Wisniewski walked attendees through that transformation at MDM’s 2021 Sales GPS Conference, which we further recapped here.

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