Hoping to leverage its strengths in the international and petrochemical markets, WESCO Distribution, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa., purchased Reily Electrical Supply from an affiliate of Stamford Capital Corp.

Reily, Metairie, La., is a prominent electrical, automation and control products distributor along the Louisiana Gulf Coast. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

As EW went to press, Reily was still waiting to hear if it will continue to carry the exclusive rights to the Allen-Bradley line for its six locations in Louisiana. Allen-Bradley commonly reviews its distribution relationships when an acquisition takes place.

Roy Haley, WESCO's president and chief operating officer, said the sale is not contingent on Allen-Bradley's approval. The decision to buy Reily was triggered by Reily's strategic planning process and the many similarities between the companies, he said.

"What's really driving this is similarities in growth strategy, similarities in terms of industry focus and some similarities in terms of operating style," Haley said. "That, coupled with the...recognition that in order to achieve growth objectives there needs to be good capital backing and a way to leverage certain kinds of skills that may be specialized skills. For example, Reily was investing in international growth opportunities. WESCO's doing the same thing. We're both able to leverage each other's capabilities in that regard and it adds up to a stronger organization."

Reily, with 280 employees and 1997 sales of $136 million, is the 36th-largest electrical distributor in the country. It will continue to operate for the foreseeable future under the Reily name. Tim Reily, chairman and owner of Reily Electrical Supply, and Bob Bruno, president, will continue to lead the day-to-day operations.