IMARK Group and the Equity/EDN Marketing Group have merged into a new organization with a combined membership of approximately 1,135 electrical distributors operating an estimated 2,100 locations.

The merger of the two buying/marketing groups forms the largest electrical marketing group for independent electrical distributors in the world with market share of approximately 18 percent and combined revenues approaching $15 billion, the buying/marketing groups said. Before the merger, Affiliated Distributors (A-D), Wayne, Pa., was generally considered to be the largest group in North America when ranked by total member sales volume. According to information on www.mya-d.net, A-D has 128 distributors with 1,192 locations that do a combined total of $11 billion in electrical sales.

According to a press release issued by IMARK, the new Equity/EDN Division of IMARK Group brings new economies of scale, lowered operating costs and added economic value for new and existing members of the combined group. Equity/EDN LLC will operate autonomously as a division of IMARK Group. There are no plans at this time to change the names of either IMARK Group or Equity/EDN. The current Equity/EDN management team will stay on. Matt Roos, current president and CEO of Equity/EDN, will lead the new Equity/EDN division of IMARK Group. He will report to Bob Smith, president and CEO of IMARK Group.

Equity/EDN, headquartered in Concord, Ohio, was formed in May 2003 when Equity Electrical Associates Inc. and Electrical Distributors Network Inc. (EDN) merged. Equity/EDN has 960 members and 1,100 locations nationwide with annual revenues of $6 billion.

IMARK Group, Oxon Hill, Md., has 175 member companies operating more than 1,000 locations in the United States. IMARK Group's projected 2008 member sales volume is $8 billion.

According to Equity/EDN's Roos, “In our long-range planning sessions and with market dynamics continually changing, we concluded that in order to continue to improve our market position we needed to align with the leader in our industry. Clearly, IMARK offered the best opportunity. IMARK supports its approved suppliers and consistently outperforms the market and offers its members the highest returns. IMARK's culture and style mirrors that of Equity/EDN, which was paramount in our thinking. We are excited about the prospects that this new opportunity provides for future growth.”

Steve Ruane, IMARK Group's vice president of marketing and member services, said IMARK Group and the Equity/EDN division will continue to focus on serving the needs of the full-line electrical distributor. Ruane said he doesn't expect to see any changes in geographic markets where distributors compete as a result of the merger.

“Nothing different. Competing members are a fact of life for all marketing groups. The many member executives that we've talked to recognize the strategic importance of increasing the size and scale of their organization in an era of industry consolidation,” he said.