In one of its largest acquisitions in recent years, Sonepar USA, Philadelphia, has acquired Independent Electric Supply (IES), San Carlos, Calif. The deal gives Sonepar a solid footprint in California, one of the few major markets in the United States in which it did not have a major presence.

Founded in 1976 as a 10-employee distributorship to serve electrical contractors in the aerospace industry, Independent Electric Supply has 24 branches in the Northern California, the San Francisco Bay area, the Golden State's Central Valley, Central Coast, Southern California, and in Tempe, Ariz. IES also operates two specialty division houses: Independent Power System (IPS) and Independent Utility Supply (IUS). The company will continue to operate under the leadership of Ron Snow, CEO, and Tom Massip, president.

Before this acquisition, Sonepar USA's only locations in California were branches operated by its Essco Wholesale Electric Inc. division in Grand Terrace, Los Angeles and San Diego, and two branches operated by Hagemeyer North America in Concord and Torrance.

IES' Tom Massip said in the press release announcing the acquisition, “It's a great opportunity for our employees to become a part of a vigorous, growth-oriented organization. As is a characteristic of all acquisitions Sonepar has made over the years, we will continue to operate and market ourselves with our existing management team in place and will remain known in the markets we have served for 35-plus years as Independent Electric Supply.”

Dave Gabriel, CEO of Sonepar USA, said in that press release, “This strategic acquisition provides an opportunity for Sonepar USA to expand its presence through one of the strongest regional distributors in the California market. Independent Electric Supply is a company whose organization and employee base exemplifies Sonepar's most critical characteristics of a customer-centric organization with strong local leadership and local brands.”

Electrical Wholesaling's most recent Top 200 listing ranks Sonepar as the largest electrical distributor in North America, with $5.28 billion in 2010 sales and pegs Independent Electric Supply in the #18 spot with $373 million in 2010 sales.