Trystar, shown here in September during construction of an expansion to the Acorn Trail facility, this week announced it acquired Kentucky-based Load Banks Direct a manufacturer of high-capacity load banks used to test emergency power systems. (File photo/

A rapidly growing Faribault-based company is hoping to expand its reach further and provide more comprehensive solutions for customers after acquiring a Kentucky-based company.

Trystar announced on Thursday that it had acquired Kentucky-based Load Banks Direct, a manufacturer of high capacity load banks used to test emergency power systems, such as those Trystar manufactures.

At this point, no financial details of the purchase have been released, but Load Banks Direct President Martin Glover will stay on to help with a “new chapter” of the business. Trystar CEO AJ Smith said there are no plans to move Load Banks Direct’s operations out of Kentucky.

Public records from the Commonwealth of Kentucky indicate that Load Banks Direct was first organized as a Foreign Limited Liability Company in the state in 2012. It’s significantly smaller than Trystar, which boasts up to 200 employees at its Faribault facility during peak times.

Trystar provides products both for commercial and emergency services purposes. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the company has lost much of the commercial side of its business, but that’s more than been made up for by a spike in demand on the emergency services side.

Founded in 1992 by Rick Dahl, Trystar has become a cornerstone of the local economy in recent years. With a reputation for quality and an ability to get its products to customers in a timely fashion, it won devoted customers from all over the world. As it grew, Trystar struggled to find space to accommodate its needs. By the time Dahl sold his company to Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison, operations were inefficiently spread out over five facilities in north Faribault’s industrial park.

The Twin Cities-based equity firm quickly brought in Smith, a former Honeywell executive, to run Trystar, and he focused on finding a more suitable space. Building codes prevented Trystar from expanding existing facilities, but suitable locations in Burnsville and Lakeville were found.

A 100,000-square foot warehouse constructed by Trystar’s longtime construction partner Met-Con was also identified as a potential landing spot, but it was more expensive than other options. To cover the difference, Faribault and Rice County agreed to a sizable tax abatement package.

Having addressed its space needs, Trystar began to focus on implementing other aspects of its strategic plan. Smith said that a core component of the plan was to offer additional services for customers that it was not currently capable of providing on its own.

“We’ve got aspirations to do a lot of different things,” he said. “Far more than we can just do on our own.”

Smith noted that the two companies had long shared clients, ranging from hospitals to schools to hotels. Over the years, Load Banks Direct’s products have been plugged into Trystar’s thousands of times.

By acquiring Load Banks Direct, Smith said that Trystar will be able to reach the company’s sizable customer base and work on new products and technologies, utilizing the extensive but differing technical knowledge of both companies.

Smith said that the shared culture between the two companies made the purchase a particularly sound fit. Perhaps the most central priority that the two companies share is commitment to finding customer-specific solutions.

Smith said that the shared commitment of Trystar and Load Banks Direct to finding custom solutions helps both to stand out in their industries. In addition, he boasted that both companies have distinguished themselves by offering cutting edge technology.

“If you look at their products against the competition, you can tell that Trystar and Load Banks Direct make the best products,” he said.

Reach Reporter Andrew Deziel at 507-333-3129 or follow him on Twitter @FDNandrew. © Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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