Sonepar USA Stakes a Bigger Claim in Golden State with Addition of OneSource

Nov. 4, 2011
Sonepar USA, Philadelphia, continued a dramatic expansion of its presence in the California market as well as Hawaii and parts of the South Pacific. The

Sonepar USA, Philadelphia, continued a dramatic expansion of its presence in the California market as well as Hawaii and parts of the South Pacific. The company last week announced a deal to add OneSource Distributors, Oceanside, Calif., to its group.

Sonepar USA, the largest electrical distributor by sales in the United States and a subsidiary of the privately-held Sonepar Group, based in France, which is one of the largest electrical distribution companies in the world, started the year with five branch operations in California. Now, with the acquisition in September of Independent Electric Supply, San Carlos, Calif., and now the addition of OneSource Distributors, Sonepar can boast about 40 locations in the Golden State.

Not only does Sonepar gain geographic presence, but OneSource is also the authorized distributor for Rockwell Automation and Allen-Bradley products in several markets, a relationship that gives it further heft in the industrial sector.

Founded in 1983 as a single location, OneSource has grown to a company with 13 locations and more than 300 employees. OneSource's offering includes electrical materials and components, industrial automation, lighting and switchgear, as well as utility products and services. The company also has manufacturing and subassembly services and a machine shop.

“We are delighted to have OneSource Distributors as part of the Sonepar USA team,” said Dave Gabriel, CEO of Sonepar USA. “OneSource is a terrific company that shares our values and passion for a customer focused, value-driven organization with an excellent management team and proven track record for performance in the market. This partnership further enhances our growth in the California market and truly makes us a leader in that region.”

As with Sonepar's many acquisitions since the company made its first appearance in the U.S. market in 1994, OneSource will maintain its identity and management under the Sonepar group.

“Bob Zamarripa and his team at OneSource have made a long-term commitment to the organization both in their ongoing leadership roles, as well as their continued investment in the company,” Gabriel said.

Sonepar has wanted to expand in Southern California for some time, according to interviews with the company's executives over the years. Before acquiring Independent Electric Supply (IES) in September, Sonepar had five locations in the state — three operated by its EESCO Wholesale Electric Supply subsidiary in Grand Terrace, Los Angeles and San Diego, and two locations in Concord and Torrance run by Hagemeyer North America. The Independent Electric Supply acquisition added 19 electrical supply locations; three locations under IES' Independent Power Systems and LGE Electrical Sales; and two locations in IES' utility division.

By adding OneSource Distributors' 10 California locations serving the electrical supply, tool, utility and industrial markets, the company now has an estimated 39 branch locations and sales offices in the state. According to data compiled by Electrical Wholesaling magazine, only Consolidated Electrical Distributors Inc. (CED), Irving, Texas, with 106 locations, has more branches in the Golden State. Graybar Electric Co., St. Louis; Rexel USA, Dallas; and WESCO Distribution Inc., Pittsburgh, each have approximately 20 California locations.

In the Pacific Northwest, Sonepar has broad market coverage throughout Oregon and in the Portland metropolitan area through its Eoff Electric Co. subsidiary. While it does not yet have any branches in the Seattle metro, it does have branches in Washington in Longview and Vancouver.

OneSource has grown organically and through acquisitions over the years. Most recently, the company bought D&D Tool & Supply in January to be able to offer broader product packages and logistical supply chain expertise. Last year, OneSource made waves when it expanded its warehouse and staff to go after the highly competitive San Francisco commercial and industrial markets. In 2009, the company broadened its geographic base with the acquisition of Berkeley Engineering, which gave it locations in Hawaii and the South Pacific. OneSource became one of the larger electrical distributors in California through its merger with Orange County Wholesale Electric in 1999.

The move into Sonepar Group gives OneSource some new advantages, said Zamarripa. “We are thrilled to be part of the Sonepar USA team. Our cultures align incredibly well, and I believe we will accelerate our growth, offer more value to our customers and further increase the career opportunities for our people. It's not just the quality products and services we sell, but what has truly made us an industry leader is our culture, our people and our commitment to providing our customers with exceptional value. That is what sets us apart.”