Sonepar North America is expanding into the Caribbean with an asset purchase agreement to buy Warren del Caribe, which has operations in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, and an office in Miami. The deal is expected to close this week.
Warren del Caribe was put up for sale after Warren Electric, Houston, filed for bankruptcy protection in October 2002. Summit Electric Supply bought the domestic operating assets of Warren Electric in December 2002.
Warren del Caribe, with five locations, had annual sales of about $31.5 million in 2001, the last time Warren Electric Group released financials, according to Richard Worthy, president and CEO of Sonepar North America.
The acquisition will give Sonepar North America authorization for the Allen-Bradley Area of Primary Responsibility (APR) for five locations in the Caribbean and expand Sonepar's presence in the pharmaceutical and petrochemical industries.
Worthy said the acquisition plays to Sonepar's existing strength in the pharmaceuticals market through its Fromm Electric of Piscataway operation. Fromm Electric works directly with the home offices and production facilities of the many pharmaceutical companies based in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and Worthy said these established relationships will be a value-added service the company can offer to pharmaceutical customers now being served by the branches Sonepar intends to acquire from Warren del Caribe.
“With our acquisition of Fromm Electric, which services the pharmaceuticals in the Pennsylvania/New Jersey territory for Rockwell, we wanted to combine both of those service arms so that Fromm and now Warren del Caribe have the ability to work jointly on behalf of the pharmaceutical customer base,” said Worthy. “Certainly the pharmaceutical industry is strategic and long-lasting in the United States, and very viable over the long term.”
Warren Electric expanded into Trinidad and Tobago when it acquired ECM, an electrical construction and automation distributor in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
In other acquisition news, Sonepar USA, Berwyn, Pa., completed two acquisitions through two of its divisions. Viking Electric Supply Inc., St. Paul, Minn., completed the purchase of Lake Shore Lighting in Green Bay, Wis. Cooper Electric Supply, Tinton Falls, N.J., bought Levitan-Robbins, a $4 million, single-branch operation in New York City.
“It was just a great entry for us into the city. We had been looking to get in there (New York City),” said Greg Griswold, Cooper Electric Supply's president. Kevin Cooper has been named branch manager.
Cooper Electric Supply will open a branch in Westchester, N.Y., next month and another branch in Newburgh, N.Y., in the next few months, said Griswold.