A-B refuses to appoint WESCO/Reily

Rockwell Automation, Milwaukee, Wis., said it has chosen not to offer its Allen-Bradley Area of Primary Responsibility (APR) appointment for southeastern Louisiana to WESCO Distribution, Inc., which last month acquired longtime Allen-Bradley distributor Reily Electric Supply, Metairie, La.

Rockwell Automation said it is evaluating other existing A-B distributors with experience and expertise in the oil and gas industry to find a successor to Reily in the territory. An appointment was planned for July 1.

When WESCO announced its agreement to acquire Reily Electric Supply ("News Watch," EW June '98, page 12), Tim Reily, chairman and former owner of Reily Electrical Supply, expressed confidence that Rockwell Automation would not change the status of Reily's A-B authorization, but he and Roy Haley, chairman, president and chief executive of WESCO, said the sale was not contingent on the appointment.

Rockwell Automation's motivation for dropping Reily remains unclear, even to the people at Reily. "Allen-Bradley made a decision that they have classified as being for strategic reasons, with not much explanation beyond that," said Bob Bruno, president of Reily. "They're not specific about their strategic reasons."

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