Communications Supply Corp.(CSC), Stamford, Conn., moved to strengthen its geographic and product coverage while adding marketing expertise with the purchase of GNWC Wire, Cable and Network Products, Inc., Downers Grove, Ill. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Combining the two voice, data, low-voltage and industrial-cable specialty distributors "strengthens CSC's geographic footprint and ability to service the continental U.S. with localized inventories while significantly strengthening CSC's presence in the voice, data and low voltage markets," announced Steve Riordan, president and chief executive officer of CSC.

The acquisition of GNWC, which is the nation's 175th-largest electrical distributor, also adds approximately 125 employees and $75 million in annual sales to CSC's portfolio. GNWC has locations in San Antonio, Houston and Austin, Texas; Charlotte, N.C.; Phoenix; Denver; and St. Louis, Mo. All will now operate under the CSC name. The acquisition expands CSC's operations to 17 locations throughout the U.S.

Closely held CSC has approximately 350 employees following the acquisition, but does not disclose its annual sales, said Tom Donohue, formerly GNWC's director of marketing, who now has that responsibility for all of CSC.

The reasons CSC purchased GNWC were three-fold, according to Donohue. "First, we (GNWC) had branch locations where CSC was looking to expand. With this acquisition they got immediate presence in markets they were already looking to go into," he said. "Second, we have complementary product lines." The companies had many lines in common, and each had additional lines the other sought, he said.

GNWC's corporate infrastructure was a third enticement, said Donohue. "GNWC was a more corporate-focused entity where CSC was more branch-focused in its expertise. So they were buying some people. (For example) they had no marketing director. For a long-term growth strategy you're going to need marketing sooner or later."