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Rexel to Buy Mayer Electric Supply in Blockbuster Acquisition

Oct. 6, 2021
Mayer Electric has for many years been one of the strongest distributors in the Southeast, but in recent years expanded its reach into Texas and Pennsylvania with acquisitions of Mustang Electric Supply and The Hite Co.

Mayer Electric Supply, Birmingham, AL, the 11th largest full-line electrical distributor in the United States, will become part of the Rexel USA portfolio of companies.

Mayer employs more than 1,200 associates in 68 locations across 12 states, and according to Electrical Wholesaling’s 2021 Top 150 ranking had just over $1 billion in 2020 sales. The transaction remains subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close before year-end.

“We could not be prouder of the achievements of the Mayer team, which for nine decades has built a stellar reputation as a leading provider of electrical goods in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States,” said Nancy Collat Goedecke, Mayer chairman and CEO, in the press release. “We are confident that we are placing the company in good hands to continue the values that have set Mayer apart and take the Mayer brand to even higher levels in the years to come.”

James W. “Wes” Smith will continue as president of Mayer under Rexel ownership. “We are honored and excited to join the Rexel Group, a progressive, innovative leader in the electrical distribution industry,” he said in the press release. “Maintaining the Mayer brand and culture, alongside and as a part of the Rexel brand and culture, will create strategic value for our customers, suppliers, communities, associates, and stakeholders. Our combined geographic footprint, offering best-in-class products, services, solutions, and digital capabilities will help our customers and suppliers grow and be successful. I do not believe there could be a better strategic fit of two companies coming together.”

“This move is an important step in expanding Rexel’s footprint in the United States, the world’s leading market for electrical supplies, and will strengthen our market share in the Eastern part of the country,” said Jeff Baker, CEO of Rexel USA, in the press release.

Rexel’s 2020 sales for the United States and Canada were $5.3 billion according to Electrical Wholesaling’s 2021 Top 150 listing, and before the Mayer acquisition the company had 573 locations and more than 7,200 employees in North America. Rexel is ranked #5 on the Top 150 list and is the second largest distributor in the world after Sonepar, with an estimated $15.4 billion in sales, more than 1,900 locations in 25 countries and more than 24,00 employees.

Rexel has acquired dozens of companies in North America over the past 30 years, many of them large regional players. The list includes Platt Electric Supply, Beaverton, OR (2012); Branch Group, Upper Marlboro, MD (2000); Westburne, St. Laurent, Quebec (2000); GE Supply, Shelton, CT (2006); and Capitol Light & Supply (CLS), Hartford, CT (2006).

Mayer Electric has for many years been one of the strongest distributors in the Southeast, but in more recent years expanded its reach into other regions, with acquisitions of The Hite Co., Altoona, PA (2018); Upchurch Electrical Supply, Fayetteville, AR (2017); and Mustang Electric Supply, Lewisville, TX (2012).

The company is known for its community and industry involvement and over the years has been a strong supporter of the Industrial Distribution Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the National Association of Electrical Distributors. The university named the business school the Collat School of Business in 2014, to honor Charles and Patsy Collat for their financial support, which included $25 million in gifts and pledges. Mayer Electric Supply also has the rare distinction of having four of its executives serve as chairman for the National Association of Electrical Distributors — Wes Smith, Glenn Goedecke, Jim Summerlin and Charles Collat.

— Jim Lucy