Online Article Page


DBL Acquired for $96 Milllion
The Arizona Republic

Jul. 6, 2007---David Lorsch was newly engaged and out of work when he made a list of six businesses he thought he could start.

Bride-to-be Cindy Lubin figured with no house and no children, they had little to lose.

The couple picked the idea of becoming a wholesale distributor of consumer electronics accessories, opening DBL Distributing Inc. with a 12-page catalog and a 1,500-square-foot warehouse in Tempe.

A television store in Clovis, N.M., was the first to make DBL's phone ring, and the couple spent their first wedding anniversary affixing stickers to their next round of catalogs.

From that humble start, DBL Distributing has grown for 18 years by feeding consumers' booming, insatiable appetite for electronics.

The Scottsdale-based company capped off the success story last month, when it announced that it has agreed to be acquired by California-based Ingram Micro Inc. for $96 million. DBL will operate as an independent subsidiary of Ingram Micro, keeping its 350 employees and 144,000-square-foot warehouse operations intact in Scottsdale.

Lorsch will stay on as chief executive officer through June 2008, and Henry Chiarelli, chief merchandising officer, was promoted to president.

The brand names that DBL carries read like a pantheon of electronics: Sony, JVC, Canon and Samsung. Most consumers, though, won't recognize the DBL name because it sells to independent retailers and e-commerce Web sites rather than direct to consumers.

"We're the invisible guy," Lorsch said. "We're the guy who the dealers come and buy stuff from."

Along the way, DBL outgrew five warehouses and built its sixth and current one in 2004.

It made the Inc. 500, Inc. magazine's list of the nation's 500 fastest-growing private companies, in 1996, and Lorsch was a four-time finalist in Entrepreneur of the Year.

The catalog has grown to a hefty 1,200 pages, and keeps Lorsch and Lubin's beloved Dalmatians on the cover and superimposed on TV screens.

Even though Ingram Micro and DBL had casual discussions three years ago, Lorsch said, he wasn't planning to sell.

As any techno-geek knows, Ingram Micro's world of computers and DBL's world of consumer electronics are melding. Two years ago, Ingram Micro began diversifying with the purchase of another distribution company that specialized in home theaters.

The latest deal gives Ingram a solid consumer-electronics distributor with a customer base of more than 32,000 independent retailers and e-commerce Web sites.

It automatically adds more than 17,000 items to its product line, ranging from giant plasma TVs to Sony headphones and camera batteries to VHS tapes.

1 2 next