Four Join List of 75 Largest Private Companies in Arkansas

by Gwen Moritz  on Monday, May. 26, 2014 12:00 am  

QualChoice Holdings Inc., the Little Rock parent company of QCA and QualChoice insurance companies, is making its final appearance on the list of the largest Arkansas-owned private companies. Coming in at No. 54 with $154 million in revenue last year, QualChoice Holdings was sold last month to Collab Health, a subsidiary of Catholic Health Initiatives of Denver.

New Names

Four companies volunteered revenue data that was sufficient to position them among the top 75 for the first time:

• No. 44 Summerwood Partners LLC of Bryant, which does business as Big Red Stores. Owned by David and Doug Hendrix, Summerwood’s convenience and grocery stores generated revenue of $196.5 million in fiscal 2013, and the company volunteered that its 2012 revenue was $186.9 million, suggesting it should have been on our list in previous years.

• No. 52 E. Ritter & Co. of Marked Tree, which produced revenue of $157 million in 2013 (and $139 million in 2012) through two very different divisions. Ritter Agribusiness in Marked Tree is in the business of farm management, grain services, cotton ginning and warehousing of farm products. But in Jonesboro, the company operates Ritter Communications, which has been offering telecommunications services in northeast Arkansas since 1906.

• No. 56 Douglas Cos. Inc. of Conway, a wholesaler of candy and other merchandise to convenience stores. Headed by Steve Douglas and Susie Douglas Munson, the 41-year-old company had revenue of $152 million in 2013 and $148 million in 2012. It employs 95 workers. Douglas Cos. announced last month that it has acquired a Missouri convenience store distribution company called Tri-Com, which is expected to bump its annual sales to about $230 million and move it up next year’s list by about 20 places.

• No. 72 ABC Financial of Sherwood, which hauled in $98 million last year as the contract biller for 4,800 fitness clubs in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. ABC, led by President Paul Schaller, had previously declined to participate in Arkansas Business’ annual revenue survey, but this year volunteered that its 2013 revenue was off by more than 18 percent from 2012’s total of $120 million. Last month, the company, which employs 600 people, announced a reorganization that included merging several departments under Senior Vice President Mike Escobedo.

Pushed Out

The loss of Allens left only one vacant spot among the top 75, so identifying four new qualifying companies pushed off three companies that had appeared on the 2013 list:

• Clark Contractors of Little Rock, which debuted last year with $104.3 million, reported 2013 revenue of $79.1 million — too low for this year’s cutoff. Baldwin & Shell Construction Co., also of Little Rock, which occupies the No. 75 spot with $88.8 million, similarly saw a double-digit revenue decline. It had been No. 69 last year ($98.7 million in 2012 revenue) and as high as No. 51 the year before that ($151.7 million).

• Saline Memorial Hospital in Benton, last year’s No. 74, and HealthScope Benefits of Little Rock, No. 75 last year, also dropped off the list despite improved revenue. Saline Memorial’s revenue grew from $76.4 million to 79.1 million, and HealthScope, an insurance claims administrator, enjoyed revenue growth of 12.3 percent to $85.4 million.

27th Annual List of Arkansas’ Largest Private Companies



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