Gilford Flooring LLC in Jeffersonville has completed a merger with Johnson Wholesale Floors Inc. of Atlanta.

Both companies are regional, wholesale distributors of business-to-business residential, commercial and architectural flooring, according to a news release. The merged company will be called Gilford•Johnson Flooring.

The majority shareholder of Gilford Flooring is Blue Equity LLC of Louisville, which has been busy the last few months.

The company re-entered the sport-agency business with the November purchase of Maxx Sports & Entertainment, an independent agency that specializes in representing sports broadcasters. Blue Equity chairman Jonathan Blue also participated in a recent trade mission to Cuba.

Gilford Flooring has distribution centers in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and Ohio and offers with leading brands of hardwood, laminate, ceramic and resilient flooring, according to the release. It also distributes its own brands, including Soft Touch carpet, Vallaria hardwoods and HydraShield.

Dennis Cook, president and CEO of Gilford•Johnson Flooring, explained the logic behind the merger in an interview with Business First. “We see an extraordinary opportunity for these two companies to grow, get much larger, and continue the expansion plans Jonathan Blue has for these companies,” he said. “It’s an exciting time for us.”

Prior to the merger, Cook had been president of Gilford Flooring.

He added that one impetus for the merger was to increase the scale of both companies. “Scale or size of the company is extremely important in the distribution area,” he said. “It allows us to offer our employees educational opportunities (and) advancement opportunities. It allows us to offer our customers better service in some cases. Collectively, size does matter and that’s very important in the floor-covering distribution business.”

Cook said Gilford•Johnson will have 170 to 180 employees. Of these, 40 to 45 are currently located in Jeffersonville, he said.

Cook added that Jeffersonville is the headquarters for Gilford•Johnson, in part to be close to Blue Equity..

He also said it’s likely the Jeffersonville location will expand its workforce, adding that there is currently an open job for an IT manager “because we feel like we need one for this particular integration.”