Equity Electrical Associates Inc. and Electrical Distributors Network Inc. (EDN), two of the five largest buying/marketing groups in the electrical industry, have merged into a new organization with a combined membership of about 1,000 companies with a total of 1,150 locations in the United States.

Dick Noel, founder and president, Equity Electrical Associates, East Walpole, Mass., and Matt Roos, president of EDN, Concord, Ohio, will remain in their current positions at each respective buying/marketing group. In addition, Noel will become chairman of the board of Power Marketing Management LLC, the new parent company, while Roos will become president/CEO. Bob Snyder will remain as Equity's vice president, and Stephen Perencevich will remain as vice president of EDN. No personnel changes are expected.

The two entities — Equity and EDN — will remain as separate operating divisions, maintaining existing company names, personnel, boards of directors, earning schedules and payment procedures, Noel and Roos said. The merger of the two buying/marketing groups forms a $6 billion-plus network.

“We are extremely optimistic about the endless opportunities for both the member distributors and the associated manufacturers,” said Noel and Roos in a joint statement. “The timing is perfect, given the general state of the economy. The merger will prove to be profitable for all. It will have an immediate and positive effect on the bottom line of all members of both divisions. It will also offer double the promotional and operational offerings to members, providing economies of scale, plus the combined talent and budgets of both with a single objective.”

An estimated 80 percent of the sales volume of the combined entities is derived from the same manufacturers, according to a press release announcing the merger. While Equity and EDN do not at this time anticipate their members being able to buy products from all product lines, Noel said they would work toward that goal.