WESCO Adds to its Utility Market Offerings with Acquisition of Hi-Line Utility Supply

WESCO Distribution, Pittsburgh, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Hi-Line Utility Supply Co. Closing is expected to occur in the coming months, subject to customary closing conditions.

With two branches in Elgin, Ill., and Millbury, Mass., Hi-Line Utility generates approximately $30 million in annual revenue. Hi-Line Utility is a provider of utility MRO and safety products, as well as rubber goods testing and certification services.

“Hi-Line has an excellent reputation in the marketplace,” John Engel, WESCO’s chairman, president and CEO, said. “The addition of Hi-Line augments WESCO’s utility product and service offerings and strengthens our portfolio within utility and industrial end markets.”

WESCO has been a major player in electric utility products distribution for decades, a position built through a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions, though the pace of the company’s acquisitions in that part of the market has slowed down of late. Most of its recent purchases have been category expansions in areas such as safety and electronics, or geographic expansions, primarily in Canada.

WESCO bought Canadian utility specialist Trydor, Surrey, B.C., in 2012. Other significant utility acquisitions have included Herning Enterprises, with operations in California, Washington, Arizona and Utah, and KVA Supply in Denver, in 2003. The bulk of its add-on utility business came during an acquisition surge in the late 1990s, when it acquired Diversified Electric Supply Co. Inc., North Little Rock, Ark.; Hamby-Young Power Products, Aurora, Ohio; Maydwell and Hartzell Inc., Brisbane, Calif.; and Power Supply Inc., Houston.

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