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Machabee sells equipment unit to Sacramento’s Smile

NNBW staff

Two years ago, the father-and-son team of Gary and Scott Machabee saw the economic storm clouds gathering and began repositioning their office furniture and business equipment company to ride out the storm.

The company completed one of the major steps in that transition this month when it completed the sale of a subsidiary that sold copiers and printers to Smile Business Products Inc. of Sacramento.

Smile Business Products is one of the 10 largest dealers for Sharp in the United States.

The transition should be nearly seamless, said Gary Machabee, one of the owners of the company co-founded by his father 70 year ago. Smile Business Products initially will share a facility with Machabee Office Environments at 1335 Parkway, and nearly all of the staff that previously worked for Machabee Business Equipment will join Smile Business Products.

Machabee said his company worked for about nine months to find a buyer for the business products subsidiary, which had been part of the company’s operation since the early 1960s.

It wanted to find a buyer that would be a good fit for its customers, its employees and its vendors, and he said Smile Business Products met all three standards.

A Machabee subsidiary that provides financing to buyers of copiers and printers will continue to service that loan portfolio.

The sale allows Machabee Office Environments to focus on sales of office furnishings.

It has been a Steelcase dealer since 1952, when founders Delbert Machabee and Frank Morrill decided to add furniture to an office supplies and stationery business they had launched on Virginia Street in 1940.

The company later moved to a location on Center Street and moved in 2007 to a newly developed 30,000-square-foot facility at 475 Valley Road.

While the Valley Road facility had been in the planning stages for several years, Machabee said the space was too large for the company’s needs as it began to reposition itself.

The building, still owned by a Machabee subsidiary, has been leased to the state government for parole and probation offices. The company has moved to leased space in Sparks.

Scott Machabee, who now serves as the company’s president, moved the headquarters of Machabee Office Environments to Las Vegas within the past year. The company launched its Las Vegas operation in 1988.