WESCO Boosts Canadian Presence with Purchase of Brews

WESCO Distribution, Inc., Pittsburgh, announced plans to acquire Brews Supply, Ltd., headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, through its Canadian subsidiary. Founded in 1927, Brews is a full-line distributor of industrial, utility and commercial products with branches in Calgary, Edmonton, Mississauga and Fort McMurray. Its trailing twelve-month sales were approximately $50 million. The company's line card lists several dozen blue-chip manufacturers of electrical and utility products.

According to information on the company's website, Robert L. Brews started the business as a manufacturers' representative in Calgary in 1927 to supply equipment to the electric utilities in Alberta. Brews opened a branch in Edmonton in 1950 to cover all industrial users of electrical control and apparatus. Brews Supply started transitioning from an agent to an electrical distributor in the 1960s, and in 1988 joined the Canadian Electrical Distributors Association and expanded its product offering to cover all the electrical equipment needs of industrial users. The company joined the Affiliated Distributors marketing/buying group in 2000. In 2006, the family owners sold the business, and the new owners changed the names from R.L. Brews to Brews Supply Ltd.

In a press release announcing the acquisition, John Engel, WESCO's chairman and CEO, said Brews is a “well-established business with long-standing customer and supplier relationships that operates in the high-growth energy and industrial regions of western Canada. This acquisition strengthens our industrial and utility market positions in Canada.”

Since the mid-1990s, many of WESCO's acquisitions have been in industrial and utility markets. Over the years, the company has acquired industrially oriented distributors such as Avon Electrical Supplies, Inc., Hauppauge, N.Y.; Coghlin Electric & Electronics, Westborough, Mass.; Fife Electric, Detroit, Mich.; Industrial Electric Supply Co., Birmingham, Ala.; Murco, Inc., Monroe, La.; and Standard Electric Supply, Bangor, Me. Its utility acquisitions have included Hamby-Young Power Products, Aurora, Ohio; and Power Supply, Inc., Houston, Texas.

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