Its more than 25,000 products make Leviton Manufacturing a leviathan of electrical and electronic components, but it's certainly no dinosaur. In addition to components such as switches, plugs, and connectors for home and commercial uses, it has added data center connectivity and energy-efficient lighting systems, lighting controls, and voice and data equipment. Its Wiring Device division makes everything from basic switches to receptacles, including the designer Decora and Acenti collections. Products are sold in North America to distributors, manufacturers, and retail outlets, such as Home Depot and Wal-Mart. The Leviton family owns the company, which started out making tip mantles for gaslights in 1906.
Leviton, which reports that its annual sales exceed $1 billion, has steadily broadened its product line, customer base, and operations through organic growth and acquisitions of complementary companies. One of its most potentially significant moves, in terms of growth, came in early 2011 when the company won the exclusive contract to supply electric car charging units for the Ford Focus Electric car. The home charging station, developed with Ford, will initially be sold through Best Buy stores.
Leviton has identified data center infrastructure and lighting energy management as key areas for growth. The company has added offices in China, India, Dubai, and South Korea, among other countries, to facilitate international sales. While the company manufactures products in the US, Mexico, and China, it sells products in more than 80 countries around the globe.
In early 2011 Leviton purchased UK-based Quantran Systems, a maker of architectural dimming and lighting control products with a geographic presence in Europe, Asia, and Middle East. The acquisition gives Leviton the ability to offer commercial lighting control systems that meet international requirements, as well as expands its geographic foothold in strategic international markets.
In late 2010 Leviton bought Integrated Metering Systems, a maker of sub-metering systems used to manage energy use and cost. The acquisition supports its sustainable energy initiative by adding energy measurement and verification capabilities to its line of lighting energy management products. The move was part of the company's push to provide a complete line of products to help organizations meet green building standards by providing smart metering, load management, and other energy reduction systems.
In another strategic move, the company joined the HomePlug Powerline Alliance, an industry organization promoting standards for networking computers and other electronic products in the home. Leviton works with builders, such as Pulte Homes, to offer its products as optional features in newly-built homes.
Leviton has demonstrated its commitment to green building by example. In mid-2009 the company moved its headquarters to Melville, New York. Its new facility incorporates sustainable, green building materials and systems, many of them Leviton products. Among the energy-efficient and eco-conscious features, the headquarters uses the company daylight harvesting systems, occupancy detection controls, and high-speed data networking lineup.
Since 1929 the company's acquisitions have opened new routes to electric, insulated wire, and lighting control markets. Its purchases include American Insulated Wire, ControlThink, Deal Electric, East Coast Electrical Systems, Meteor Electric, Macro Lighting Controls, and NSI/Colortran.
Leviton has also divested operations considered noncore. In early 2010 the company sold certain assets of its subsidiary American Insulated Wire (AIW) to Southwire Company, a cable and wire manufacturer. The deal included the AIW brands and manufacturing facilities in Kansas and Georgia.
Thomas & Betts (T&B) bought a 29% stake in Leviton in 1994 and remained a passive investor until selling the shares back to Leviton in mid-2008 for about $300 million. – less