Sonco Fence was founded by Sonny Long in 1976 in Bladensburg, Maryland, just outside of Washington DC. He was determined to become a leading wholesale distributor of fence products in the region. Throughout the 1980’s, SONCO grew aggressively, focusing on reliable service and quality products, while expanding sales into the neighboring states of Virginia, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, ultimately opening a full-service branch in Philadelphia. Sonco further expanded its production capabilities and product mix in line with customer demand investing in chain link, as well as extruded and bonded vinyl manufacturing facilities.
In 1986, SONCO launched its rental fence or temporary fence business under the Rentaguard brand. The 1990’s saw SONCO continue its expansion and product diversification with a focus on aluminum and steel ornamental fencing and added vinyl / PVC fencing. SONCO also launched the Mechanical Tube division in 1998, which is currently a leading distributor of galvanized tubing in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest markets.
In 2003 Sonco added pedestrian barricades for rent and sale as part of the Rentaguard division, opening up opportunities in the crowd control and event space. This exists today as the SONCO Event & Construction Rentals division and Crowd Control Store, an on-line marketplace for crowd control products.
Over the next seven years, SONCO opened sales offices in Boston and New York, a vinyl fence and railing production facility in Millville, New Jersey and a manufacturing and distribution facility in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In January 2014, at the age of 84, Sonny Long and his sons Bobby and Tim, who played a major role in building SONCO, sold a majority stake to Stephen Greer, a young entrepreneur with a proven track record, who built his last company, Hartwell Pacific Limited to over $300 million in sales. Greer became SONCO’s Chairman & CEO.
Under Greer’s leadership, in June 2014, SONCO acquired Chicago based Griffin Supply, the leading distributor of mechanical tubes in the Great Lakes Region.
Sadly, in January 2015 Sonny Long passed away after a battle with cancer. Later that year, after careful analysis and introspection, the Board of Directors agreed to restructure the business by divesting its vinyl fence operations with a sale to industry leader Barrette Outdoor Living, and by exiting the chain link fence manufacturing and distribution business through the sale of assets to Stephens Pipe & Steel of Kentucky. As part of the restructuring and recapitalization of the business, Stephen Greer acquired the remaining 49% of SONCO’s shares from the Long family.
Today, SONCO has an energized focus on the Event & Construction rental business, Its Crowd Control Store on-line marketplace and the Mechanical Tube division. As part of this focus, SONCO has opened new rental branches in Providence, Chicago, Indianapolis and Charlotte and expanded the Crowd Control Store’s capabilities with “on the ground” inventory in Los Angeles, Houston and Tampa in addition to its Philadelphia distribution center.
Stay tuned for more exciting developments!