Werner Electric Supply Co., Neenah, Wis., is broadening its geographic coverage and customer base by acquiring the assets of Cole Electric Supply Co., a three-location distributorship based in Janesville, Wis. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Cole Electric Supply has operations in Janesville, Stevens Point and Madison, Wis. It's active in the industrial, commercial and contractor markets. Sales figures for both privately held companies are unavailable.

Werner Electric Supply sees benefits on many levels from a combination with Cole Electric, said Ken Stoltzmann, the company's vice president, sales and marketing. The acquisition reduces Werner Electric Supply's reliance on the paper industry while expanding its prospects in key areas such as Madison's commercial market, a hotbed for datacom expansion.

The acquisition gives the company the Allen-Bradley Co.'s area of primary responsibility (APR) for locations in Janesville and Madison. Werner Electric Supply already has the APR for the Stevens Point market, where Cole Electric's branch is an authorized Schneider Electric/Square D distributor. Stoltzmann said Werner Electric Supply hopes to establish that branch as a separate, autonomous operation so that it could continue to represent Square D from that location and Allen-Bradley from the Werner branch.

The branches will continue to operate under the Cole Electric name, though Stoltzmann said they plan to use the Werner name as well, possibly "Cole Electric Supply, a division of Werner Electric Supply."