Sonepar USA and Hagemeyer North America, both subsidiaries of Paris-based Sonepar SA, announced a merger of the companies' Capital Lighting & Supply (CLS) and Tristate Electrical & Electronics operations in the Mid-Atlantic region. The combined business will be led by John Hardy as president.

The new organization will offer services from over 46 locations across Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia. For the immediate future, the locations will continue to operate under their existing Capital Lighting, Hagemeyer or Tristate brands.

“I grew up in the electrical business wanting to be like Tristate,” Hardy said. “When we merge the best practices it will be a better business, and could be a new benchmark.”

Hardy expects significant efficiencies to come from economies of scale. Both companies operate on a distribution-center model, a model that supports high levels of customer service but is also an expensive model to run. “Individually, the scale of business we each do is profitable, but put the two businesses together, and all of a sudden the scale of the business makes it far more viable,” he said.

The consolidation will include converting Tristate's ERP system to Activant's Eclipse. Decisions about whether the combined business will close any locations in the five overlapping markets or reduce staff still lie ahead, said Hardy.