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BREAKING 7-2-08 John Georges Acquires Bossier's Harrison Co. - Annual Revenues Near $1B
Wednesday, Jul 02, 2008 2:54pm

BOSSIER CITY, LA (By: Tom Pace, Executive Editor, Talk of the Town) BREAKING ECONOMIC NEWS: 5pm 7-2-08  More big economic news for Bossier City. Today, inside Bossier's City Council Chambers, Mayor "Lo" Walker introduced John Georges who announced his company's acquisition of Harrison Company of Bossier City.  (Click here to listen as Tom Pace talks with Georges about the acquisition.) 

The merger is valued at about $800 Million, with revenues from both Harrison Company and Imperial Trading, forecast to hit $1 Billion by 2010, Georges predicted.  Prior to the merger, Harrison's CEO was Hal Martin, who has been retained as the President of the Bossier City Company.  (Click here to listen to Martin's interview with Tom Pace)

The New Orleans business owner and investor, said his grocery distribution company, Imperial Trading Co. of New Orleans, had been looking throughout the Ark-La-Tex for a new partner, but chose Harrison and Bossier City over other strong sites. 

“During my campaign for governor in 2007, I talked about economic development in Louisiana, so we decided to invest right here, and Harrison is a very good company with excellent employees and management,” Georges said. Harrison had more than $215 million in sales last year.

Georges plans to expand employment at Harrison by another 100 jobs, to about 250, and projects revenues of Harrison and Imperial Trading to top $1 billion by the end of 2010.

Hal Martin, president of Harrison Company, said he is “excited about taking this step at becoming a $1 billion super-regional distributor. I am staying on as president because I believe the combination of our two companies will create a force to be reckoned with in the industry.”

Georges had been looking for an inland site since Hurricane Katrina.

“This acquisition will not only allow us to continue offering competitive prices, despite vastly increased fuel costs, but will also allow us to provide our customers with uninterrupted service in case any catastrophic hurricanes affect south Louisiana again,” Georges said. “We don't expect any major changes at Harrison and are confident it will continue to grow under Hal Martin’s leadership.” 

In welcoming Georges to Bossier's business community, Mayor "Lo" Walker said,  “It is wonderful that these 150 jobs will be retained in Bossier City. I know John Georges by reputation. He is a very fine and respected business leader and community activist and his company will be a good corporate citizen of Bossier City.”  

“I know that under John’s leadership, Harrison Company will continue to grow and create new opportunities for its employees and the people of Bossier,” the mayor said.

Wayne Baquet, president and COO of Imperial Trading Company, welcomed Harrison into the Georges business family.

“This is an excellent company with great employees that will allow us to expand our business efficiently and very effectively,” Baquet said.

“Harrison Company has a great reputation in the distribution industry, and is a respected employer of Louisiana. For those reasons, we thought Harrison would be a great fit for Imperial Trading Company and its future growth in the convenience store distribution channels,” Baquet said.

Lisa Johnson, executive director of the Bossier Chamber of Commerce, said, “We are always glad when Louisiana companies join forces and make our state stronger.”

“But what is really exciting is the promise of additional job growth in the future. We are very excited to welcome John Georges into the Bossier business community,” Johnson said.

Harrison is the second largest Louisiana-owned food distributor servicing convenience stores, second only to Imperial. Harrison and Imperial combined will serve thousands of customers in nine states.

Georges Enterprises [www.georgesenterprises.com] includes Imperial; AMA Distributors; Dolphin Marine International; Refreshment Solutions; and Louisiana Film Studios...as well as investments in real estate development, construction and raw materials management.

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