Sonepar Distribution US, Inc., Reading, Pa., the U.S. arm of Paris-based Sonepar, agreed to buy Cooper Electric Supply Co., Tinton Falls, N.J., and World Electric, Miami, Fla., in separate transactions.

Richard and William Cooper will continue to manage operations at 14-location Cooper Electric Supply, which had 1998 revenues of $138 million. The partnership with Sonepar will give Cooper additional financial resources to fuel their growth plans in the New Jersey market and surrounding states, says Richard Cooper, Cooper Electric Supply's president. Cooper Electric's central distribution center in Linden, N.J., would give Sonepar a hub to eventually serve surrounding Mid-Atlantic states, he says.

Sonepar Distribution US has also agreed to buy World Electric Supply of Miami, expanding its reach into the Florida market for the first time. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. With about 30 employees and one location, World Electric Supply of Miami is a contractor-oriented electrical distributor with a strong counter business, according to Richard Worthy, president and chief executive officer of Sonepar Distribution US.

World Electric Supply will continue to operate under its own name. Mildred Alpert, president of World Electric Supply of Miami, will continue in her current position.