Just shy of its 90th birthday, one of Tucson's oldest family-owned businesses has been sold.
Horizon Moving Systems officially became part of Jacksonville, Fla.-based Suddath Relocation Systems on Monday.
"The name changes, but the people, the values and the community service - none of that changes," Dick Eschbacher, Suddath senior vice president for the Western region, said at the Tucson center Wednesday.
The terms of the acquisition were not made public. The sale includes Horizon's Tucson, Phoenix and Flagstaff centers but not operations in Sierra Vista and Yuma.
Tucson center general manager Melody Reyes said the new company will keep 98 percent of the local staff. Eschbacher said he expects the local center to double in size over the next few years.
Horizon President Bruce Dusenberry will stay on as a business development consultant.
"Similar to Horizon, Suddath came from modest beginnings as a family-owned moving business, and they, too, share deep roots in their community," Horizon said in an email announcement to customers.
"We are proud to say the 89-year legacy started by Bruce's grandfather, C. R. Dusenberry, will live on as we become part of a like-minded organization."
Horizon was founded in Tucson in 1924 with one truck and grew to be one of Tucson's largest employers, peaking at 271 full-time-equivalent employees in 2003, according to the Arizona Daily Star's Star 200.
The company grossed $30 million in business in 2005, Arizona Daily Star archives show.
The company currently employs 68 people in Tucson, 68 in Phoenix and about 20 in Flagstaff.
Horizon was passed down through three generations of Dusenberry family members, who are known for supporting community causes and providing leadership in local business, government and nonprofit groups. Like C.R. Dusenberry, Carl Suddath started his moving business 94 years ago with two mules and a moving van, the company said.
With the local acquisition, the growing company has 22 locations nationwide plus international centers.
Eschbacher said company leaders had been eyeing the Arizona market for a few years.
Horizon was chosen because it is a "high-quality company where our customers are," he said. Intel is a large client and has operations in the Phoenix area, he said.
The company is the largest mover of military personnel and one of the largest international relocation firms, he said.
The acquisition allows the Tucson center to expand into office relocations, adds flexibility for international shipments and adds capacity for residential moves, Reyes said.
Contact reporter Becky Pallack at email@example.com or 573-4251. On Twitter @BeckyPallack.