Van Meter Expands into Chicago and Omaha

Van Meter Expands into Chicago and Omaha

Van Meter Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, said it will expand its business territory to the east and west in 2016. The company has agreed to acquire Bright Electrical Supply Co. in downtown Chicago in a deal expected to close by the end of the year. Van Meter also plans to open a new branch in Omaha, Neb., in the second quarter of 2016.

The Bright Electrical Supply acquisition carries Van Meter into a major urban center with an established operation that leans heavily on commercial lighting. “With up to 40 percent of a commercial building’s energy consumption being attributable to lighting and a tremendous amount of innovation taking place among leading lighting manufacturers, this is an area we want to focus on,” said Van Meter President and CEO Kevin Powell. “Bright represents an investment in a new market and an opportunity to further our specialization in a dynamic and growing space.”

Van Meter has been servicing customer projects and doing business in Nebraska for several years now, the company said in a release. The company is already busy recruiting to staff the Omaha branch, hiring sales, technical, warehouse and delivery personnel.

“We’re committed to growing with our customers and are confident the time is right for us to have a physical presence in Omaha,” added Powell. “A key part of our growth strategy is to expand into new markets.”

Van Meter’s most recent previous acquisition was Miller Electric Supply last March, adding to its presence in Dubuque and Clinton, Iowa.

The acquisition of Bright and the new branch in Omaha will expand Van Meter’s presence in the Midwest to 16 locations. Van Meter is Iowa’s largest electrical and mechanical distributor serving contractor, industrial and commercial customers with lighting, data communications, utility, automation, power transmission, renewable energy and core electrical components.

Van Meter is a 100 percent employee-owned through an ESOP. It ranked #26 on the 2015 Electrical Wholesaling Top 200 list based on 2014 sales of $263 million.

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