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Pelco Inc. sold by French conglomerate. Who are the new owners?

Pelco by Schneider Electric, which builds video security camera equipment at its facility in Clovis, California, has been purchased by Los Angeles-based Transom Private Capital in a sale announced on May 29, 2017. Pelco, which once employed about 2,200 workers at its Clovis campus, now has fewer than 480 with production in Clovis and executive and engineering offices in northwest Fresno.
Pelco by Schneider Electric, which builds video security camera equipment at its facility in Clovis, California, has been purchased by Los Angeles-based Transom Private Capital in a sale announced on May 29, 2017. Pelco, which once employed about 2,200 workers at its Clovis campus, now has fewer than 480 with production in Clovis and executive and engineering offices in northwest Fresno. Fresno Bee file photo

Pelco Inc., a Fresno/Clovis-based company known for video surveillance equipment used worldwide, has been sold to a Southern California private equity firm.

Transom Capital Group, based in El Segundo, announced Wednesday that it purchased Pelco from French conglomerate Schneider Electric. Terms of the sale were not disclosed by either Transom or Schneider, but the two companies had been in exclusive negotiations over the fate of Pelco since March.

“Pelco is one of the pioneers of the video surveillance space,” Russ Roenick, Transom’s managing partner, said in a written statement. “We have conviction that the work done over the past several years to transform the company into a digitally savvy security leader … is nearly complete.”

“We are excited to partner with management to grow the business for many years to come,” Roenick added.

Pelco CEO Jean-Marc Theolier said in a written statement that it was important to partner with ownership that appreciated the company’s legacy “as well as supported our current business strategy and growth plan.” He added that Transom’s leadership “has encouraged us to continue doing what we do best.”

Pelco was founded 1957 in Southern California, moved to Fresno in 1982, then relocated to Clovis five years later. The company rose to global prominence as a manufacturer of video cameras and other surveillance equipment after David McDonald bought it in 1987. Pelco further solidified its reputation in Fresno and Clovis after McDonald – a noted local philanthropist – established a memorial to New York City police and firefighters in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

The 17th annual 9-11 memorial was held at the California Memorial in Clovis on Tuesday. Former New York City firefighter and honored guest Andy Isolano spoke to the crowd, presenting an American flag to former Pelco CEO David McDonald.

McDonald and his partners sold Pelco to Schneider Electric in 2007, and in 2017 Pelco’s executives and engineers relocated to offices in northwest Fresno, leaving its production in Clovis.

McDonald remained involved in philanthropy in the Fresno-Clovis area until his death in January 2019 at the age of 69.

When Schneider Electric bought Pelco in 2007, the company had about 2,200 employees at its sprawling campus in Clovis as part of its worldwide workforce of about 2,600 employees. Over the past decade, however, Schneider Electric downsized the company and shifted some of its focus. In its March news release, Schneider Electric said the sale negotiations with Transom represented the desire of the company’s energy group to focus on energy management and industrial automation.

In 2010, a day after announcing 100 layoffs in Clovis, Pelco by Schneider Electric disclosed plans to begin some manufacturing operations in China. It was one of many rounds of staff reductions, and by 2017 it had shed more than two-thirds of its workforce.

Pelco now has 478 employees, Schneider Electric reported in March. It created revenues of about 169 million euros in 2018 – the equivalent of about $186 million under the current rate of exchange.

Lifelong Valley resident Tim Sheehan has worked in the Valley as a reporter and editor since 1986, and has been at The Bee since 1998. He is currently The Bee’s data reporter and covers California’s high-speed rail project and other transportation issues. He grew up in Madera, has a journalism degree from Fresno State and a master’s degree in leadership studies from Fresno Pacific University.

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