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Stuart Irby to Buy Chattanooga's Tennesco

Stuart C. Irby Co., a subsidiary of Sonepar USA based in Jackson, Miss., agreed to acquire Tennesco Inc. in Chattanooga, Tenn., effective Dec. 12.

Tennesco, established in 1985, has 11 employees and is a full-line stocking distributor and manufacturers' agent offering products to commercial and industrial customers.

“Irby has had a utility presence in Chattanooga for years and this will give us the opportunity to move into the commercial and industrial market,” said Irby President Mike Wigton. “It will also strengthen Sonepar's presence as a global distributor. Tennesco and Irby are very similar and share many of the same suppliers. The location of Tennesco is in close proximity to Irby's regional distribution center in Nashville and will allow us to expand their product and service offering.”

Larry Cox, president of Tennesco, said, “This will be a great fit for Tennesco, our employees and our customers. Irby will bring additional products to help serve our clientele.” Cox will take on a new role as Irby's Chattanooga Commercial and Industrial operations manager.

Irby operates 56 branches in 21 states and is one of the largest electrical distributors in the United States. Irby serves customers in four major market segments — industrial, contractor, commercial and utility.

Sonepar has acquired several distributors over the past few years, including ESSCO Wholesale Electric, Chandler, Ariz.; Hagemeyer's North American operations, Charleston, S.C.; Crawford Electric Supply Co., Dallas; Fairview Electrical Supply Corp., Fairview, N.J.; and Ralph Pill Electric Supply, Boston (through its Northeast Electrical Distributors/Eagle Electric Supply subsidiary). Sonepar has more than 4,600 employees in 13 companies operating in more than 253 branches. With $2.9 billion in 2007 sales, the company is the fifth largest distributor on EW's Top 200 ranking.

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