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Pro-Scapes
01-17-2011, 11:33 PM
I wonder how this will affect pricing and avalibility on Unique products and how this will affect customer service and special orders like custom colors.

http://www.rttnews.com/ArticleView.aspx?Id=1528796

http://news.morningstar.com/all/business-wire/20110117005938/the-toro-company-acquires-certain-assets-of-unique-lighting-systems.aspx

Classic Lighting
01-18-2011, 12:24 AM
I'm not an expert on business aquisitions, but it sounds like Unique is completely owned by Toro. I assume Unique will maintain it's daily operations while under the direction of Toro. Is this compareable to the Hunter- FXL relationship?

Alan B
01-18-2011, 08:17 AM
I'm not an expert on business aquisitions, but it sounds like Unique is completely owned by Toro.
My guess is -- regarding fixtures yes that appears to be the case. Nate, an electrician, started with transformers-- the multimatic trans was his first product and an item they actually made. I wouldn't be surprised if he wanted to keep the transformer side esp with his 24v project.

JoeyD
01-18-2011, 12:13 PM
Sucks for all the Unique knockoffs, now the deep pockets can bury their A$$'$...lol

Whats up boys!? Looks like I got out at a good time. hahahaha Bummed for my friends losing their jobs but pumped for those who will get to work for a solid company. From those staying on they seem pretty positive about their new set up! Good luck to all of them

and I am pretty sure Toro is taking over everything including lights and transformers and everything else....I think Unique will retain their building

wbaptist
01-18-2011, 12:31 PM
Thanks Joey. I will work on something official to post up today.

JoeyD
01-18-2011, 02:17 PM
go get em Rusty!!!!!

Lite4
01-18-2011, 02:48 PM
With the current economy, not a totally unexpected development. I can only see this as being beneficial for both companies. I wish them both luck. I have enjoyed Uniques product line.

The Toro Company
01-18-2011, 05:33 PM
“Toro acquired Unique’s landscape lighting and transformer product lines (Odyssey, Signature Series, and Brass and Copper Knights) including related tooling and equipment, and intellectual property. We also will retain Nate Mullen, Randy Weisser, and a significant number of employees in the area of sales, sourcing, customer service and engineering.”

The Toro Company

Pro-Scapes
01-18-2011, 05:57 PM
but how will this affect our abilty to custom order on the fly ? Unique has always been very fast about custom building direct burial transformers and getting me the fixtures I need powder coated done very quickly.

Classic Lighting
01-18-2011, 06:43 PM
Perhaps this aquisition explains why Unique is no longer a sponsor on LS?

NightScenes
01-18-2011, 07:22 PM
Maybe they shouldn't have taken that right turn at Albuquerque/24 volt!! (Bugs Bunny)

wbaptist
01-18-2011, 08:01 PM
I wonder how this will affect pricing and avalibility on Unique products and how this will affect customer service and special orders like custom colors.

http://www.rttnews.com/ArticleView.aspx?Id=1528796

http://news.morningstar.com/all/business-wire/20110117005938/the-toro-company-acquires-certain-assets-of-unique-lighting-systems.aspx

Nothing will change. You will continue to receive the same price, quality and service as always.

wbaptist
01-18-2011, 08:02 PM
but how will this affect our abilty to custom order on the fly ? Unique has always been very fast about custom building direct burial transformers and getting me the fixtures I need powder coated done very quickly.

This change will not affect those services in any way. Toro is retaining the same costumer service level as before.

Mark B
01-18-2011, 10:11 PM
There goes a good lighting company. Good for Nate I guess.

BrandonV
01-18-2011, 10:36 PM
Im stoked! I love our local toro distributor,but cant force myself to install their 2nd rate sprinkler products. At least now i can swing by and pick up lights.
Posted via Mobile Device

Mark B
01-18-2011, 10:52 PM
Brandon, that is my thoughts about them buying a good lighting company. I guess time will tell. Cause there irrigation products are not great at all.

irrig8r
01-18-2011, 11:31 PM
Brandon, that is my thoughts about them buying a good lighting company. I guess time will tell. Cause there irrigation products are not great at all.

1. Some folks don't like a few of the things Toro has done with Irritrol since acquiring them. Others are still concerned about what they'll do with Rainmaster. I try to avoid Toro sprinkler products.

2. So now that Hunter owns FXL and Toro owns Unique, which lighting company is Rain Bird going to acquire?

Mark B
01-19-2011, 12:05 AM
2. So now that Hunter owns FXL and Toro owns Unique, which lighting company is Rain Bird going to acquire?


Now that is an interesting thought.. So who do you think will be next? Should we draft some fun folks over here from the irritation forum?

Mike M
01-19-2011, 11:02 AM
Toro Toro: hahahaha Billy Tora Tora Tora was a late-night childhood favorite of mine.

:usflag:

irrig8r
01-19-2011, 02:20 PM
Toro Toro: hahahaha Billy Tora Tora Tora was a late-night childhood favorite of mine.

:usflag:

Thinking about you the other day when I heard a story about subsistence hunting of bearded seals on NPR where they interviewed some guy from Kotzebue...

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-19-2011, 07:10 PM
2. So now that Hunter owns FXL and Toro owns Unique, which lighting company is Rain Bird going to acquire?

I am not certain, but I don't think Rain Bird has deep enough pockets to be buying up any lighting companies... then again, I do know where there is a storied lighting company that is available. Stranger things have happened.

Pro-Scapes
01-19-2011, 09:15 PM
Now let me be clear. I have used toro mowers for over 20 yrs and always loved em. Like others not 100% keen on the Toro irrigation product but it is something I can get locally.

Now I just hope Toro doesnt go trying to make the lights cheaper. All Unique needs is some executive with no real world lighting experience looking for a way to increase the bottom line. I have had dinner with Nate on more than one occasion and it was always a pleasure.

Mike M
01-20-2011, 12:16 AM
Gregg, Kotzebue just replaced all the streetlights along the water with state-of-the-art LED's, and the design (cut-offs) help reduce light pollution.

Billy, are there any other changes happening in the lighting industry? How's business these days?

Classic Lighting
01-20-2011, 12:47 AM
Judging by some of Toro's irrigation aquisitions, they have a reputation for dismantling companies with the intention of increasing revenues. More times than not, it turned out to be a disaster.
Toro's maintenance/ construction equipment division and their golf course irrigation are the only bright spots.
Only time will tell, but I don't expect a bright future for Unique. Just my opinion.

Tbone77
01-24-2011, 06:20 PM
Anybody here old enough and remember when Rain Bird had a lighting line called "Night Bird?" Man was that a disaster!

irrig8r
01-24-2011, 09:35 PM
Anybody here old enough and remember when Rain Bird had a lighting line called "Night Bird?" Man was that a disaster!

Yes, I'm old enough and the product design looked interesting to me... all stainless steel bodies, and you added a hat to make it a pathlight. My distributor at the time was going to bring some in, but the only time i really saw them was at a trade show. I liked the concept.

I posted something here on lawnsite about them once....

Here it is:

http://inventiveproductdesign.com/examples/NightBird1.htm

Tbone77
01-24-2011, 10:47 PM
Wow! I remember Luma Lighting, but forgot that Toro aquired them. Thanks for the blast from the past. It's funny how history tends to repeat itself. I just remember the "Night Bird's" not holding up and rusting... But then again my memory is getting a bit rusty too...

drewguy
01-25-2011, 01:44 PM
Yes, I'm old enough and the product design looked interesting to me... all stainless steel bodies, and you added a hat to make it a pathlight. My distributor at the time was going to bring some in, but the only time i really saw them was at a trade show. I liked the concept.

I posted something here on lawnsite about them once....

Here it is:

http://inventiveproductdesign.com/examples/NightBird1.htm

Fascinating. When I was in high school, my dad and I installed a small set of those for path lights. My recollection is that we bought them from Smith & Hawken. The weakness was the "hat" on the lamp, which came off far to easily. Or, more accurately, could get broken off too easily. It was push and twist locking at the bottom to hold it to the bulb holder, but the glass would either break when twisting or if you knocked the hat.

The powder coating held up pretty well though, and when they were working the light was pretty good.

sprinkler guy
01-26-2011, 01:03 AM
I am not certain, but I don't think Rain Bird has deep enough pockets to be buying up any lighting companies... then again, I do know where there is a storied lighting company that is available. Stranger things have happened.

Would it surprise you James to learn Rain Bird still does the highest volume of sales of all the irrigation manus in North America? They've taken a run at Vista and FX over the years, but the time was never right according to the rumor mongers. Or is that rumour mongers :laugh:?

Anyway, I wondered the same thing Gregg did when FX and Hunter announced their deal in 2009. With all of these sprinkler guys battling it out over the years, the easiest move to grow market share is acquisition. Toro has a pretty rocky history with all of their equipment company purchases over the years, and someone else mentioned their questionable record with Irritrol.

From my perspective it will probably be a good thing. Material availability has been a little tough the last couple of years. We have so many suppliers to choose from in So Cal that you always expect product on the shelf when you walk into a store. When it isn't in one, you have the option of driving down the road to pick it up, so most guys kept a good inventory on hand. Not the case with Unique. I always had to call ahead to make sure I had enough fixtures to do an average size job, 15-25 lights. Toro might help facilitate better stocking programs with some of these supply houses. It may help edge out some of the knock-off competitors too, which have gotten more shelf space the last couple of years at these warehouses.

Tomwilllight
01-27-2011, 05:56 PM
Yes, I'm old enough and the product design looked interesting to me... all stainless steel bodies, and you added a hat to make it a pathlight. My distributor at the time was going to bring some in, but the only time i really saw them was at a trade show. I liked the concept.

I posted something here on lawnsite about them once....

Here it is:

http://inventiveproductdesign.com/examples/NightBird1.htm

If anyone has a spare copy of the "Rain Bird" pamphlet and plan to go to AOLP next week, I'll buy you a liquid refreshment of your choice in exchange for it.

Tom

David Gretzmier
01-28-2011, 12:53 AM
I have always loved Toro commercial 21 inch mowers, and own 2 that are like tanks.

I also fondly remember the toro multi stream rotor from my irrigation days. not that it gave excellent precipitation rates or was particularly reliable, but it was quiet ( unlike rainbird rotors) and gave an almost Vegas like water show. I remember using the 12 inch pop-up rotors on a few jobs zoned them in 5-7 heads in a circle head to head coverage. nearly 20 years later, I still drive by there in the morning on one job and see them on around 6 am.

I hope Toro does a good job with the company. but face it, it's business, they will try to have it make money.