Artic Temp Joins Imperial Brown

The acquisition gives walk-in cooler and freezer manufacturer Imperial Brown a third manufacturing facility, in the heart of the US

Effective from 1 January 1 2017, Artic Temp, Inc.,of Prague, Oklahoma, has joined Imperial Brown, one of the leading manufacturers of walk-in coolers and freezers in the US. With existing manufacturing facilities on both the West and East coasts, Imperial Brown is acquiring a third manufacturing facility, located in America’s Heartland.

“Our employees are all very excited to be welcoming a new factory to the IB family,” said Justin L. Sandall, president and CEO of Imperial Brown. “This addition expands our footprint and provides critical access to the Mid-West, allowing us to better serve our expanding customer base.”

Calvin Gatlin started Artic Temp in February of 1984, when he purchased the assets of a bankrupt cooler company from Oklahoma City. After relocating the assets to a small town in rural Oklahoma. Gatlin established his business, manufacturing, delivering and installing high quality walk-in coolers and freezers. With grit, determination and ingenuity, Gatlin built a successful business and name for himself and his family. Since his death six years ago, the business has been successfully run by his daughter, Diane West.

Cultural fit

“The location is perfect, but it’s the values, ethics and character we found exhibited by this family business in a small town that makes Artic Temp a perfect cultural fit,” said Sandall. “The more Diane and I spoke, the more we both realized we’d found what we were looking for. I am honored that Diane is entrusting me and Imperial Brown with her dad’s company and its people – from Beverly Winn, the Plant Manager, to the newest employees.”

“During my very first telephone conversation with Justin, we hit it off right away,” said West, president of Artic Temp. “I realized that he represented a company that cares about its employees as well as its customers, a quality I was looking for. I’ve always known I wanted to pass Artic on to a quality business that keeps its word, takes care of its employees and creates a family atmosphere.”

As part of Imperial Brown, the employees of Artic Temp have much to gain, Sandall said. In addition to a national presence and access to new customers, Artic Temp gets a partner with deep financial resources to invest in the Artic Temp plant. Sandall said that Imperial Brown has plans to invest over $1.5 million in new equipment within the first two years of IB ownership, with much of that equipment already on order. That equipment investment will be critical to Imperial Brown’s plans to add at least $10 million in annual revenue to the factory’s existing business.

Imperial Brown is no stranger to acquisitions, equipment investments and aggressive growth plans. In 2012, Imperial Manufacturing of Portland, Oregon acquired W.A. Brown & Son of Salisbury, North Carolina, to form Imperial Brown. Over the past four years, the two companies have been merged into one cohesive company in all aspects, from manufacturing to quoting, with more than $1 million in new machinery invested in the North Carolina plant. According to Sandall, the North Carolina plant has grown from 40 employees to 130, with a $15 million increase in revenue.

Quality products

As a company that is 100 percent employee owned, Sandall told the Artic employees that culture is Imperial Brown’s top priority. “We are the best at what we do, and we must be,” he said. “Beyond the typical supermarket, convenience stores and restaurants, IB serves some of the highest profile and most demanding customers and applications in the industry. Throughout the industry, we are known as the company to call when everyone else says no. Maintaining this position and reputation requires work. We cross train, update equipment and technology, streamline processes and work creatively to better our products. That means quality products that are cost-effective for our customers.”

“The employees at Artic are my family, and I am very confident that I am leaving them in the most capable hands possible,” said. West. “I have said numerous times that this transaction is a win – win situation for all involved and I continue to feel that way. I am honored to have such a wonderful company take over my father’s business and expand it beyond imagination.”