Continuing to expand its automation business, Graybar Electric Co., St. Louis, has acquired high-tech automation controls distributor Commonwealth Controls Corp., Richmond, Va.

Commonwealth Controls has one location and two resident salespeople in Maryland and Virginia, $10 million in annual sales and 14 employees. Graybar will operate the company as a wholly owned subsidiary and maintain the Commonwealth Controls name. Terms of the agreement, which was effective April 2, were not disclosed.

D. Beatty D'Alessandro, Graybar's director of strategic planning and business development, said that while some of Graybar's branches in Richmond already served the automation business, the acquisition of Commonwealth Controls “just intensifies that effort.”

“It's a continuing effort to provide (everything from) soup to nuts — automation, MRO and com/data to the factory floor,” he said. “That's a very important market for us, particularly as it relates to the MRO side. We want to go to the marketplace with the full basket of products and provide the complete solution.”

Owners Phil Evans and Pete Pettit have agreed to continue to manage the business, and all current employees will remain with the company, said Tommy Gurganous, Graybar's Richmond district vice president.