Sonepar Buys a Place in the Mountains: Codale Electric Supply

Sonepar USA, Philadelphia, added a substantial new piece to its North American collection of marquee former independents with the announcement last month that it will acquire Codale Electric Supply, Salt Lake City. With $220 million in sales in 2011 and 210 people in 12 locations, Codale does more than fill in a gap in Sonepar's map.

Sonepar USA, a subsidiary of global electrical distribution giant Sonepar, which is privately owned by a family in France and led by Marie-Christine Coisne-Roquette, chairman and CEO, has been on an acquisition spree over the past year, adding high-profile independent distributors such as Independent Electric Supply, San Carlos, Calif., and OneSource Distributors, Oceanside, Calif., to its North American operations.

Dale Holt, who founded Codale in 1975, will continue to lead the company under Sonepar ownership for at least the next five years, he told Electrical Wholesaling. The move to join Sonepar was just about the only option he considered, he said.

“These guys are a really good fit for us,” Holt said. “Their model aligns with my thinking perfectly. This was the best thing I could do for my company's long-term viability. It can't be a bad thing to be part of the biggest distributor in the world.”

Holt was attracted to the way Sonepar handles the companies they've acquired. “Buy and hold — they hold on to them, grow them, let you manage them,” he said.

Prior to Codale, Sonepar's presence in the mountain states was limited to one Hagemeyer location and one Irby location, both in Denver. Codale has grown to become a dominant player in the Intermountain West region, with a dozen locations in Utah, Nevada and Wyoming that will now become part of Sonepar.

Codale's biggest customers are the massive copper and coal mines as well as the utilities that generate and transmit power throughout in the region, but the company has established a position in every facet of the electrical market, from residential to large commercial and heavy industrial, process industries, oil and gas, data centers and high-end hospitality along the Las Vegas strip as well.

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