CHICAGO, USA: Kennicott Brothers Company and Nordlie Inc., headquartered in Warren, MI, announce a mutual agreement to merge their companies as of July 31, 2014. Kennicott Brothers Company will acquire the assets and liabilities of Nordlie Inc. As the merger is completed, eligible Nordlie employees will become members of the Kennicott ESOP, which will own 100% of the combined companies.
Founded in 1928 by Fred Nordlie, Nordlie Inc. has been operated by James O. Nordlie after his return from military service in World War II and graduation from the University of Michigan. Said Nordlie upon his induction into the Michigan Floral Association Hall of Fame in 2011, “A great part of the credit [for our success and longevity] goes to our loyal, hard-working, and dedicated employees.”
The merger expands the number of wholesale distribution facilities under the Kennicott umbrella to a total of 18 locations. In October 2012, the company joined forces with Chicago-based Vans Floral Products to extend its operations into MI, MN, IN and GA in addition to its strong presence in greater Chicago, Milwaukee and northern Indiana. Nordlie Inc. operates seven locations in three states: Flint, Warren and Grandville, MI; Dayton, Cleveland and Newton Falls, OH; and Tampa, FL.
According to Kennicott President Gustavo Gilchrist, “We are pleased to join forces with the Nordlie organization and continue the tradition of excellent service and quality to their customer base. Going forward, the plan is to conduct business as usual at all Nordlie locations under the same name and operate under present management.”
Kennicott’s CEO Harrison “Red” Kennicott (pictured) noted that “Jim Nordlie, his business ethics and his professionalism have been a role model for me since my early years. We look forward to working with his great team of employee owners to serve retailers and grow together in our dynamic flower industry.”
Tom Addison and Tom Figueroa, Trustees of the Nordlie ESOP, added the following statement: “During our tenure with the company, Jim Nordlie always gave his employees the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. He promoted many of his managers from within the organization, and encouraged us to participate in educational opportunities within the industry. The move to 100% ESOP and the merger with Kennicott is endorsed by Jim and gives all employees a chance to plan for their future and participate in the continued success of his company.”