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Rexel to buy Capitol Light and Supply

Rexel has agreed to buy Capitol Light and Supply Co. (doing business as CLS and Capitol Light), Hartford, Conn., one of New England's largest independent electrical distributors.

In one week, the two largest independent electrical distributors in Connecticut were sold for a combined total of about $400 million in annual sales. Electrical Wholesalers Inc., Hartford, Conn., was sold to U.S. Electrical Services, Castor Springs, Pa., a new company run by Richard Worthy, former CEO of Sonepar North America.

CLS, with 2005 sales of approximately $235 million and 420 employees at 22 locations, ranks as the nation's 27th biggest electrical distributor, according to Electrical Wholesaling's Top 200 listing.

Capitol Light, the company's national retail lighting business, operates in 36 states and in Canada. Capitol Light also has distribution centers in New Haven, Conn., and Fort Worth, Texas.

The acquisition is expected to close before the end of June, pending governmental approvals. Upon closing, the business of Capitol Light and Supply will operate under the trade names Rexel CLS and Rexel Capitol Light. Bob Compagna, former CEO of CLS, will become president of the New England division of Rexel. All members of CLS/Capitol Light's management team will remain with the business.

The acquisition of CLS marks Rexel's entry into New England. Although the state of Connecticut has lost its two biggest independent electrical distributors, several large independent electrical distributors remain in New England: Granite City Electric Supply Co., Quincy, Mass.; NESCO, Canton, Mass.; Ralph Pill Electric Supply Co., Boston; and Rockingham Electrical Supply Co. Inc., Newington, N.H. All of these companies are included on Electrical Wholesaling's 2006 Top 200 listing, which begins on page 22.

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