Eastern Time Inc. acquired by San Francisco company

Allentown-based Eastern Time Inc. has been acquired by Sciens Building Solutions, headquartered in San Francisco.

This expands Sciens’ presence in Pennsylvania, where it has businesses in Plymouth Meeting (Electronic Security Solutions) and Perkiomenville (Anchor Fire Protection). Eastern Time is focused within Northeast and Central Pennsylvania; it has been operating since 1982 with a main office in Allentown and two satellite locations in Wilkes-Barre and Chambersburg.

A full-service life safety systems integration company, Eastern Time is active in all sectors of the life safety systems vertical markets, including education, business, health care, institutional/prison, industrial/warehouse, government/military, property management and casino/entertainment venues, a release said.

Backed by The Carlyle Group, Sciens is a holding company focused on the fire detection and security services sector. This includes the design, installation and provision of maintenance services for fire detection and clean agent fire suppression systems in a variety of commercial, institutional and government facilities.

“Sciens offers outstanding technical expertise and comprehensive building solutions, not only in the great state of Pennsylvania but across the country,” said Chuck Rizzo, president of Eastern Time Inc. “This, combined with Eastern Time’s capabilities, will allow us to develop broader life safety offerings for the ever-growing Northeast and Central Pennsylvania market. With family-focused divisions in this general vicinity and beyond, we knew Sciens was the right fit for us because of their values, culture and industry know-how.”

Rizzo started Eastern Time in 1982 at age 29. His two sons, Marc and Bryan, entered the business 17 years ago and have led the executive management team for the past six.

Sciens’ CEO Terry Heath added: “With its customer-first focus and excellent reputation in an area that Sciens has been a part of since early 2022, Eastern Time is a phenomenal addition to our family,” said Terry Heath, Sciens’ CEO. “We look forward to continuing to serve existing and new customers with even more comprehensive offerings in this region with the help of the very capable team at ETI.”

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

EnerSys to develop U.S. lithium battery gigafactory with French partner

Reading-based EnerSys, a manufacturer of stored energy solutions for industrial applications, has entered into an agreement with Verkor SAS, a European leader in battery technology, to explore the development of a lithium battery gigafactory in the U.S.

The companies are designing plans, determining the best location for a new factory, and evaluating funding and operating structures for the manufacturing plant. The facility represents a long-term opportunity for growth for both companies, according to a release, and will allow EnerSys to optimize cell sizing in battery solutions for its customers, providing independence from non-domestic cell suppliers.

EnerSys manufactures and distributes energy systems solutions and motive power batteries, specialty batteries, battery chargers, power equipment, battery accessories and outdoor equipment enclosure solutions to customers worldwide.

France-based Verkor has developed a proven process for designing and manufacturing electrodes, battery cells and modules, the release noted. The company is rapidly increasing its production capacity in France, with a 150 megawatt-hours per year pilot line in Grenoble and a first gigafactory of 16 gigawatt-hours per year starting production in 2025, in Dunkirk, serving major customers including the car manufacturer Renault Group.

“Establishing a U.S. lithium-ion cell supply is a critical element of our supply chain strategy,” said EnerSys President and CEO David M. Shaffer. “EnerSys is accelerating the global clean energy transition by significantly expanding our production of lithium-ion batteries across a broad range of end markets and applications. As we look at the best ways to meet the existing and rapidly growing demand for lithium-ion batteries, highly efficient local manufacturing is essential. This U.S. factory will help us meet our customers’ needs, including those with specific manufacturing requirements for domestic sourced batteries.”

Verkor’s expertise in lithium-ion electrode chemistry and high-performance products makes it an ideal manufacturing partner, he said. “We are particularly excited about the scale and flexibility this factory will provide us, with both large production capacity and the ability to create custom cells. Partnering with an industrial expert such as Verkor de-risks and accelerates our common ability to execute successfully on this project.”

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Bethlehem company Strahman Holdings sold to Ohio firm

Bethlehem-based Strahman Holdings Inc., a leading manufacturer of washdown equipment, sampling valves and valve automation products to the pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and industrial end-markets, was acquired by Flow Control Holdings.

Terms of the deal were undisclosed. Strahman will continue to operate out of its Lehigh Valley headquarters.

FCH is a portfolio company of Audax Private Equity and a leading provider of sanitary-flow components to the pharmaceutical, food and beverage end markets.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Strahman business and team to FCH,” Scott Kerns, CEO of the Cincinnati-based firm, said in a release. “Strahman has an impressive line of products and a strong track record of innovation in the U.S. dairy and washdown markets. The entire Strahman lineup is complementary to our offering of flow control components and, in particular, we are excited about adding the Strahman brand of washdown equipment to the FCH portfolio.”

Kerns added: “We are impressed with both the manufacturing capabilities at Strahman’s Bethlehem headquarters and the caliber of the team leading and operating the business,” Kerns added. “Strahman expands our already strong product portfolio in the sanitary flow control market, enhances our value proposition to customers, and aligns with our strategic growth plans.”

Strahman’s CEO, Jeff Graby, will stay on temporarily to assist with the transition. The remaining leadership team and personnel will maintain their current roles as part of the expanded FCH team. “Strahman is a great strategic fit with FCH,” Graby said. “I’m proud of what we have accomplished and excited about what’s next for our team as part of FCH.”

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Hitch RV bought by Camping World Holdings

Hitch RV, which has three locations, including one in Boyertown, Berks County, is being acquired by Lincolnshire, Illinois-based Camping World Holdings for an undisclosed price.

Camping World, calling itself America’s largest retailer of RVs and related products and services, also is adding Hitch RV’s facilities in Milford, Delaware, and Berlin, New Jersey, expanding its footprint in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

Hitch RV sells new and used RVs and provides RV parts and services. The Boyertown sales and service center is at 890 Swinehart Road; its website shows a staff of seven employees.

Marcus Lemonis, CEO and chairman of Camping World, said in a release: “Hitch RV has been proudly serving the mid-Atlantic region for over 15 years, and we’re excited to have Tim Waters join our management team as we expand in the Northeast. This acquisition brings us into Delaware for the first time, marking the entrance into our 43rd state, while adding to our leading market share positions in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.”

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

McGuire pediatric dental practice acquired by health care group

The Eugene McGuire, D.D.S., pediatric dental practice in Allentown has been acquired by Abra Health Group, a rapidly expanding health care group specializing in multi-specialty dental and pediatric primary care services.

This furthers Abra Health Group’s strategic expansion plan and commitment to providing comprehensive dental care for patients in the Allentown area.

McGuire’s practice has been serving the community for over 35 years. The office will transition to a new Smiles 4 Keeps location in the West End Theater District in Allentown, set to open later this summer. In addition to pediatric dental care, the practice will offer orthodontic services for children and adults, as well as general dentistry services for adults.

Patients of McGuire, D.D.S., will continue with appointments as scheduled, and the enhanced services will be available at the new Allentown location later in the summer.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Eugene McGuire, D.D.S., pediatric dental practice into the Abra Health Group family,” Dr. Michael Skolnick, CEO of Abra Health, said in a release. “This acquisition aligns perfectly with our mission to provide exceptional dental care and further expand our services to meet the evolving needs of our patients.”

Founded in 2008, Roseland, New Jersey-based Abra Health is formerly known as The ChildSmiles Group. The 700-plus-employee group includes several pediatric primary care and dental clinics for patients of all ages in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Schuylkill County logistics warehouse to close, costing 132 jobs

Ryder Integrated Logistics Inc. announced that it will close its Schuylkill County plant at 71 Mall Road, New Castle Township, terminating 132 employees.

The company, which calls itself “a leader in supply chain, dedicated transportation and fleet management solutions,” filed a Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification Act letter with the state Department of Labor & Industry that said the closure is expected to be permanent.

In a statement provided to the media, Ryder said that in accordance with the WARN Act, “we notified the state that, due to the bankruptcy announcement of our customer Bed Bath & Beyond, the retailer’s distribution center at 71 Mall Road in Frackville … will be closing between June 25 and July 9, 2023. Based on the information currently known and available, we anticipate that 132 positions at the Ryder-managed distribution center will be eliminated within that time period.

“Ryder remains committed to continuing to serve the needs of our customers in Pennsylvania, where we continue to operate other sites. Ryder is working on redeployment efforts, as feasible, to retain as many employees as possible.”

None of the workers at the Mall Road facility, which is on the site of the former Schuylkill Mall (since razed), are unionized.

Ryder Integrated Logistics is a subsidiary of Ryder System Inc., a $12 billion fully integrated port-to-door logistics and transportation company with operations throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Ryder System includes 48,000 employees, 45,000 customers, 260,000 vehicles under management, 11,000 professional drivers, 300 warehouses and 95 million square feet of retail space.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer