WESCO Distribution, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa., bought all the assets and business of Industrial Electric Supply Co. (IES), an industrial-automation specialist based in Birmingham, Ala., for an undisclosed amount.

IES, founded in 1972 and with 1998 sales of approximately $25 million, will help WESCO's Industrial/Construction Group to strengthen its ability to serve industrial customers in the growing Alabama and Georgia markets, said Pat Swed, vice president of WESCO's Industrial/Construction Group.

The acquisition is a good fit for WESCO, not only because it allows the second-largest electrical distributor in the U.S. to expand its industrial automation operations in the area, but also because of the lines IES carries. IES distributes automation products manufactured by Cutler-Hammer, one of WESCO's largest suppliers.

In addition to its Birmingham headquarters, IES has locations in Mobile, Ala., and Atlanta. WESCO already had branches in these cities but had limited involvement in the industrial automation market prior to the IES acquisition, Swed said. WESCO will combine the WESCO and IES branches in Mobile and Atlanta, he said.

IES will continue to work under its original name as a division of WESCO and as part of WESCO's Industrial/Construction Group. The Atlanta operation will report to Rich Gallo, director of WESCO southeast region; WESCO's branches in Birmingham and Mobile will report to Bob Bruno, head of WESCO's southern region. Walt Mason, formerly president of IES, was named manager of the Birmingham branch.