Global Fastener News

2015 FIN – Brighton-Best Acquiring EZ Sockets

May 06
20:26 2016

March 10, 2015 FIN – Brighton-Best International acquired EZ Sockets Inc. in an asset sale. EZ Socket owners Ed Werner and Mildred Werner will retire in two months.

New Jersey-based EZ Sockets supplies domestic and imported socket screw products to distributors.

EZ Sockets was founded in 1978 by Isadore (Izzy) Mintz and Ruth Ringel Mintz and their daughter Mildred Werner and son-in-law Ed Werner.

Brighton-Best president Jun Zu said the “combined strength of BBI and EZ Sockets will provide tremendous value and benefit across the distributor channel.”

Werner told FIN that EZ Socket’s broad range of socket products, reputation and presence will help BBI, which will “capitalize on the depth of our inventory.”

When Mintz was with Hunter Stevens he recruited Werner in 1974 and started him with warehouse duty. Mintz handed Werner “the old red IFI Standards text to learn the fastener industry.  Werner recalled studying the voluminous book while commuting by train to work until he commented to Mintz, who responded, “Oh, you only need the part on sockets.”

After advancing to inside sales and outside sales, Werner was sent to open a branch in the Atlanta market.

Mintz retired from Hunter Stevens in 1977 and in 1978 the four opened EZ Sockets.

Today Springfield, NJ-based EZ Sockets supplies domestic and imported socket screw products to distributors from branches in the Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Portland and Southern California markets.

Brighton-Best traces its history to 1965 when founders Stan Sevell and Perry Rosenstein opened Best Socket Screw in the SoHo district of New York City. In 1971 they acquired Brighton Socket Screw Manufacturing of Cincinnati, OH.

A consortium of investors from Taiwan, headed by Ta Chen International Inc. president Robert Shieh, acquired Brighton-Best in 2008. In 2013, BBI acquired Porteous Fastener Company.

Today BBI has 30 locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, South America, New Zealand and the UK.

“Life is short, it is time for us to take some time for ourselves,” Werner, 67, explained the decision to sell EZ Sockets.  “We needed an exit plan and they were interested.”

Werner noted Brighton-Best is a $400 million company that has grown 10-fold since acquisition.

Werner credited EZ’s “taking care of customers and service lot control for its success.  We’ve always dotted our i’s and crossed our t’s and sought to be the best, not biggest. We tried to do it right and we made money along the way.”

Trying to fool customers hurts a supplier, Werner told FIN. “The customer will catch it.  B.S only works in the short term.” For example, EZ Sockets always gave realistic delivery dates rather than just claims to get an order, Werner said.

Staffs for too many suppliers only know part numbers, Werner observed. At EZ Sockets “we know the product.”

EZ Sockets survived economic downturns by not being in debt, reducing inventory and normal employee attrition.

EZ has stocking locations in Illinois, Texas, Oregon and California and is headquartered at 5 Cornell Pkwy., Springfield, NJ 07081. Email: Tel: 973 376-7130 Web:

Brighton-Best’s U.S. headquarters is at 5855 Obispo Ave., Long Beach, CA 90805. Tel: 562 808-8060 Web: ©2015 Fastener Industry News

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