Total Comfort of Wisc. Acquires Wenninger

PEWAUKEE, WIS. Total Comfort of Wisconsin has acquired Wenninger Mechanical. The transition will be finished later this year and, until that time, operations at both organizations will remain the same. The sale price was not disclosed. I am pleased about the opportunities this acquisition provides for our employees and the company to continue growing into the future, said Dennis J. Braun, president

PEWAUKEE, WIS. — Total Comfort of Wisconsin has acquired Wenninger Mechanical. The transition will be finished later this year and, until that time, operations at both organizations will remain the same.

The sale price was not disclosed.

“I am pleased about the opportunities this acquisition provides for our employees and the company to continue growing into the future,” said Dennis J. Braun, president and CEO of Total Comfort. “Wenninger has a long-standing tradition of being a high-quality mechanical contractor, and we are excited to be able to strengthen Total Comfort with the addition of Wenninger’s hard-working team of experienced professionals.”

Wenninger Co. was bought in 2001 by utility Exelon Corp., which immediately killed its new construction division and fire sprinkler business. When brothers Richard and James Wenninger ran the company, it employed 300 people and billed $57 million. By the time current management, President Harry Becker and Vice President Kirk Westfahl, bought it from Exelon last spring, Wenninger was down to 65 people and $8 million in revenue.

What’s left is the best part, however, Braun said.

“I would not have been interested in it four years ago,” Braun said. “What’s left is the best. The groups that are functioning are their industrial group, the service group and the design/build commercial group. That fits our strategic plan very well and blends in with us very well. We’re excited about this and so are the folks at Wenninger.”

Total Comfort of Wisconsin was established in 1968 and specializes in the design, installation and service of commercial and residential HVAC and plumbing systems as well as mechanical systems that support industrial and manufacturing processes. It has about 250 employees, including more than 200 skilled trades workers representing three Milwaukee area labor unions — United Association Steamfitters Local 601, Sheet Metal Workers Local 18 and Plumbers Local 75.

Braun joined Total Comfort in 1979 as a sheet metal apprentice. He purchased Total Comfort in 1988 and became its president. In 1996 he became chief executive officer.

“I believe this is a positive move in the right direction for our company,” said Becker, president of Wenninger. “By joining teams, we will be able to build upon our reputation of providing quality services to our clients. Total Comfort is an innovative, progressive-minded organization, and Wenninger is pleased to be joining a company of its stature and reputation.”

Becker will serve as vice president/ environmental services at Total Comfort. Westfahl, who was instrumental in facilitating the acquisition, will play a key role in the integration of the two organizations.

Wenninger, established in 1911 by Benjamin Wenninger, is a full-service mechanical contractor serving commercial, industrial and institutional customers. This is Total Comfort’s second major acquisition. The company also acquired Hampton Plumbing in 2002.

Braun said there will be no immediate staffing changes at either organization. Once the transition is complete, employees will be working out of Total Comfort’s Pewaukee headquarters.

Some of Wenninger Mechanical’s major clients include Briggs & Stratton, GF Medical Systems, S.C. Johnson & Sons, Milwaukee School of Engineering, PPG Industries and Nestle.

Total Comfort established its residential division in 1992 and its industrial division in 1996. The company built a new 36,000-sq.-ft. corporate headquarters in Pewaukee in 1996 and expanded it to 50,000 sq. ft. in 1998.

Total Comfort has an established customer base in southeastern Wisconsin and has done work throughout the upper Midwest, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota.

Some of Total Comfort’s major projects include St. Joseph Outpatient Center, St. Francis Hospital, St. Michael Hospital, Lynde & Harry Bradley Technology and Trade School, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s medical office building, University Club Tower and the ASQ Center (formerly the Marshall Field’s building).

More information about Total Comfort of Wisconsin can be found at www.totalcomfort.com.

TAGS: Plumbing