Kriz-Davis Co., Grand Island, Neb., plans to acquire the Russell Belden Electric Co. (RBE), Joplin, Mo. The acquisition will expand the Kriz-Davis footprint from 13 to 17 locations, broadening the company’s presence in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. The deal will be effective July 1.

Russell Belden Electric has been in business for over 80 years. The company was founded by Russell Belden in Dec. 1929. With the legacy and following generations of family ownership by Jack and Scott Belden respectively, the company has four locations in Joplin, Mo., Nevada, Mo., Pittsburg, Kan., and Grove, Okla. Both companies are members of Affiliated Distributors and serve similar customer mixes.

 In a press release announcing the acquisition, Tim Berry, president and CEO of Kriz-Davis Co., said, “Bringing the Russell Belden Electric Co. together with Kriz-Davis Co. and our employee-ownership model is a win-win for both companies. RBE’s culture and marketplace presence was a natural fit. Both companies hold a strong commitment to delivering value to our customers. By combining our strengths, it strategically positions us well for continued growth and to exceed our customers’ future and ever-changing needs. We are very excited to welcome all the RBE associates as the newest members of our employee-owner team and family.”

Scott Belden, president and CEO of Russell Belden Electric added, “The challenges for small business continue to escalate — capital expansion, HR issues, health insurance costs and succession planning, to name a few. A merger with Kriz-Davis, our industry’s pioneer in the employee-owned business model, was the next logical step in the evolution of our 84-year-old company.

“The merger will provide opportunity for growth and expansion as well as an avenue for every employee to share in the success of the company.”

Scott Belden will stay on with Kriz-Davis and serve as division manager with responsibility for the four acquired locations. Kriz-Davis is a full-line electrical distributor with a strong focus on the utility market that was ranked #52 on Electrical Wholesaling’s 2012 listing of the Top 200.