Legrand North America Wired for Growth
Hartford, Conn.-based Legrand North America, with its On-Q, Ortronics, Pass & Seymour, Watt Stopper and Wiremold brands, seeks to be, in the words of President and CEO John Selldorff, "the leader in all markets in products and systems for electrical installations and information networks for buildings."
The North American business unit of Legrand S.A., based in Limoges, France, has acquired its brands deliberately over the course of two decades: wiring and device manufacturer Pass & Seymour in 1984, lighting control manufacturer Watt Stopper in 1996, voice data and image connectivity manufacturer Ortronics in 1998, cable management company Wiremold in 2000, and home networking manufacturer Greyfox in 2001.
In January 2001, Legrand S.A. faced an attempted takeover by competitor Schneider Electric S.A. that was ultimately rejected by the European Union later that year. In late 2002, Lumina Parent, a holding company formed by leveraged buyout consortium WENDEL Investissement and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., took ownership of the Legrand shares that Schneider had acquired during its takeover attempt. The WENDEL consortium, through its affiliates, now owns 75 percent of Legrand S.A.
Legrand hired Selldorff, a veteran of Honeywell and GE, to his current post in July 2002, and in recent years, Legrand North America has worked to expand and better organize its business strategy as it rides the housing boom. On January 1, Legrand N.A. rebranded all of its subsidiaries with the Legrand name (for example, Wiremold/Legrand). In February, Legrand bought On-Q Technologies and merged it with Greyfox; the new subsidiary was named On-Q/Legrand.
Selldorff characterizes his company as "a value-added solutions provider for electrical or network infrastructure, whether it's for the home or commercial environments. We principally today do that through two areas in the market: electrical and data networks. By data, I mean anything related to ethernet connectivity." Legrand works through traditional channels for these markets: datacomm specialists, specialist distribution (including the CEDIA channel) and the broader-based electrical contractor market, whose members are taking on phone, cable and data work.