Hughes Supply, Inc., Orlando, Fla., has had huge success working the construction side of the multi-unit residential market, but the company never found a way to build a presence in supplying the multi-family maintenance and repair market, said David Hughes, chief executive officer. To fill that gap, Hughes last month bought Chad Supply, Inc., Thonotosassa, Fla., a company that has grown to $60 million by specializing in supplying plumbing, electrical and other products to that multi-unit maintenance market.

Terms of the transaction were not reported.

"This is a new area of opportunity for us," said Hughes. "We want to expand on that idea (of multi-unit maintenance business), whether through adding that expertise to our locations or through additional Chad Supply operations." Besides its headquarters in the Tampa area, Chad Supply has branches in other Florida locations, as well as in Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana and Ohio.

The 24-year-old company sells through a 70-person direct sales force, direct advertising and its Maintenance Catalog, which Hughes plans to keep growing. Jim and David Chadwell will continue to manage and direct Chad Supply's operations.