“We were looking for a buyer,” Canary co-founder Jim
Canary was founded by Lynn Blevins and Chappell in
1984. They were using equipment painted yellow, and decided to call the
manufacturing company Canary. Chappell had met Frontier CEO Dan Eberhart a few
years ago, and when he came knocking, Chappell was wiling to discuss a sale.
While Frontier is larger than Canary, Eberhart decided
to keep the Canary name. Chappell and Blevins will stay on as vice
“These guys have a
really strong reputation, and they’re in a bunch of different markets,” he
said. “We’re primarily just in the Rockies.”
Currently, Canary has about 100 employees in Oklahoma, with manufacturing facilities
in Shawnee, and remanufacturing operations in seven buildings in Oklahoma City. Combined, the company
will have a presence in 26 locations around the country, with all manufacturing
and distribution to be handled in Oklahoma.
Eberhart said the
company plans to grow its remanufacturing operations, and bring third-party
work to Oklahoma. All distribution also
will move to Oklahoma, and the company plans to hire more employees here.
The combined company has
about 300 employees and revenues of more than $100 million. Eberhart has not
ruled out taking the company public, but said while he has had discussions
about the matter, nothing is imminent at this point.
“I think that’s
something we would potentially look at,” he said.