In a move that will consolidate ownership of some independent electrical distribution in the Chicagoland area, Paramont Electrical Supplies, Broadview, Ill., is acquiring Evergreen Oak Electric Supply and Sales Co., Crestwood, Ill., including its lighting showroom division Crest Lighting.

Evergreen Oak, which claimed the 88th spot on Electrical Wholesaling's Top 200 list of the largest electrical distributors in the U.S. based on 2010 sales, opened in 1964 and has grown to a network of six branches and lighting showrooms in Chicago and its suburbs. With 120 employees working those six locations, the company calls itself the largest independent distributor of lighting and electrical supplies in the Chicago area.

The company, which is heavily concentrated in the residential contractor market, opened its first Crest Lighting showroom as a separate division in 1969 to serve the decorative lighting needs of builders, developers and retail customers. Its most recent new location opened in Naperville, Ill., in 2001. Other locations are in New Lenox, Orland Park, Lisle and Chicago, Ill.

Paramont Electrical Supplies, a full-line electrical distributor under the leadership of President Ken Gallagher, opened its doors in 1985 to serve the contractor, industrial, commercial and government markets throughout the Chicago metro area. The company operates from two warehouses with a total of 40,000 square feet.

Evergreen Oak and other Chicago distributors that focus on the residential market have had to deal with some tough business conditions in recent years, but some signs now point toward a shift in momentum. Department of Commerce data for Jan. 2012 building permits for single-family homes in the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet IL-IN-WI MSA shows a 68% increase over Jan. 2011.