Sale good for Quinn’s, staff

You don’t relinquish the reins to a family business easily — especially one that your father started 46 years earlier.

You don’t relinquish the reins to a family business easily — especially one that your father started 46 years earlier.

But Quinn’s Oilfield Supply Ltd. president and owner Doug Quinn said selling his Red Deer business to oilfield manufacturing giant Lufkin Industries Inc. was in the best interests of the company and its employees.

“It’s kind of been a long emotional roller coaster — a bit draining,” he acknowledged on Wednesday.

The day before, Texas-based Lufkin had announced that it’s buying the assets of Quinn’s Oilfield Supply for $302.7 million. The conditional sale is expected to close before year-end.

Lufkin president and CEO John (Jay) Glick said the two companies have complementary products and services that can be integrated, and Lufkin will be able to sell Quinn’s equipment into a much broader international market.

Quinn agreed, noting that many of his competitors are now selling systems instead of single components.

“Now with Lufkin, we’re closer to being able to offer the total package.”

Quinn’s manufactures and services reciprocating rod pumps, and its subsidiary GrenCo Industries of Edmonton specializes in progressive cavity pumps. Both can be used with the oilfield pumping units and related equipment that Lufkin produces.

“Their pumpjack is kind of what they’re most known for, and for every pumpjack you need a rod pump,” said Quinn, who also stressed the significance of gaining access to international customers through Lufkin.

“We haven’t really touched those markets.”

The result should be increased demand for Quinn’s products, which will help ensure the long-term future of the business and its more than 450 employees.

“To me, the most important thing is to make sure that there’s a positive good work environment for the people who work for Quinn’s.”

Quinn will be among them. He plans to remain active in day-to-day operations and assist with long-term strategic planning.

“I want to continue to grow. I think there are a lot of opportunities — certainly for Lufkin but for me also.”

The business will continue to operate under the Quinn name, he said, and its three manufacturing facilities and more than 50 service centres in Canada and the United States shouldn’t be affected.

“Really, I don’t see hardly any changes at all in the operation. I think we’re just going to continue to move forward as Quinn’s and do a lot of the same things that I was going to do anyway.”

Quinn’s Oilfield Supply Ltd. was started by Quinn’s father Jim in 1965. Quinn became involved full time in 1991, and when his father retired in 1996 he became president and CEO.

Quinn has watched the company grow from sales of about $8 million to anticipated revenues of approximately $140 million this year. Although much of this expansion occurred while he was at the helm, he credits his father for the success.

“He certainly built a solid foundation for me to build upon.”

Lufkin wasn’t the first company to covet Quinn’s.

“I’ve been approached over the years many, many times to sell,” said Quinn.

But the buyer and circumstances felt right on this occasion.

“I know that we still could have been successful moving forward, but I also need to always understand what the market is and how it’s changing.”

Joining Lufkin gives Quinn’s the best prospects for success in an evolving and increasingly competitive industry, he said.