13, Nov. 2014
Southern Fastening Systems and Carlson Systems to Create the Nation’s Leading Fastening and Packaging Company

New York, New York – November 13, 2014 – Tenex Capital Management has announced the merger of Southern Fastening Systems and Carlson Systems (a Tenex portfolio company). The combination of these two longtime leaders in fasteners, fastening systems, and packaging supplies and equipment will create a new company uniquely positioned to serve the growing construction and industrial manufacturing markets, with an unparalleled ability to serve clients on a national basis with a local touch.

The companies have limited overlap in geography, enabling Southern and Carlson to continue operating as separate divisions and retain their historic company names in the near term. The combination joins Carlson Systems’ 60 branches and Southern Fastening Systems’ 76 branches, operating in 34 states and Mexico, under one company.

Southern Fastening Systems President Jim Whitley said, “Carlson Systems has a 67-year history of providing excellent service to both industrial and construction customers. This philosophy blends well with Southern’s dedication to the service and quality that Steve McKinney (SFS founder-deceased) so strongly believed in.”

“The Southern brand has long been admired and shares Carlson Systems values of service, quality, and integrity,” said Todd Carlson, CEO of Carlson Systems. “This combination is a fitting legacy to the McKinney family, the founders of Southern, and the Carlson family. We are very excited to join these two companies, and deliver increased value to our customers through the talents, products, and services of both companies. Customers, suppliers, and employees can expect no disruption to normal operations.”

Key strategic benefits of the merger include:

  • Augmented product offerings and deeper market footprint.
    The larger distribution reach offers suppliers to the combined company unmatched access to customers in North America.
  • Enhanced service.
    The combination of the companies’ resources allows for accelerated investment in technology and personnel, reinforcing the combined company’s leading position in service to its most valued constituents – the customers who have supported Southern and Carlson over many decades of operation.
  • Plans to pursue further expansion.
    The combination allows the combined company to pursue organic and inorganic growth opportunities while continually investing in its value proposition to its customers and suppliers.

Jim Whitley and Todd Carlson will continue in their current leadership roles, operating each company independently, as before the combination.

About Southern Fastening Systems
Southern Fastening Systems, Inc. is a leading distributor of tools and fasteners for wood construction projects and manufacturing operations. It offers pneumatic, cordless and electric tools, compressors, safety supplies, power tools and accessories, powder actuated tools and accessories, carpenter supplies and accessories, striking and hand tools, trade supplies, and framing hardware products. For more information visit Southern’s website

About Carlson Systems
Carlson is a multi-regional distributor of product assembly systems serving the fastening and packaging needs of construction, industrial, and OEM customers. Products include power-fastening systems and accessories, construction supplies, carton closure systems, marking and labeling systems, stretch wrapping systems and strapping systems with supplies and repair service for them all. For more information visit Carlson’s website at