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Blog: An Interesting Week of Deals in the Industry

By John Keough

There was some noteworthy news recently in the electrical industry this week.

First, Siemens announced a new manufacturer/distributor relationship with BDI, one of the largest power transmission/motion control distributors in the country and a leader in supply chain solutions.

Siemens has selected BDI to distribute a portion of its electrical control and automation products in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Kentucky.

As a result of the agreement, BDI’s Industrial and Electrical Control Team will be selling several of Siemens’ product categories. These products include Siemens’ motion control, variable frequency drives, circuit protection, Siemens motors, NEMA motors, IEC motors, and Siemens Engineering Services.

”The Industrial Automation and Electrical Control Team, anchored by our new relationship represents a strategic addition to BDI’s Specialty Products Group,” says John Newman, BDI Vice president of sales-Americas. “BDI will continue to invest in solution-based initiatives like this that support our ongoing mission in the industrial marketplace.”

BDI has 179 global branches in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Asia.

BDI was also named a distributor by Littelfuse and Sola/Hevi Duty. Littelfuse, headquartered in Chicago, is a manufacturer of power distribution and circuit protection products. Soda/Hevi, both divisions of Emerson, makes DC power drives and industrial protection products, respectively.

And just a few weeks ago, Siemens received a major contract in Texas.

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has awarded a contract to Siemens Government Technologies, Inc. (Siemens) to construct the federal government’s largest wind farm.

The Pantex wind farm is expected to save an average of $2.9 million annually over the 20-year contract term. The installation will consist of five 2.3 megawatt turbines located on 1,500 acres of government-owned property east of the Pantex plant in Amarillo, Texas. The wind farm is expected to generate roughly 47 million kilowatt hours of clean energy annually, which is more than 60 percent of the electricity required annually for the Pantex facility. This is enough electricity to power nearly 3,500 homes. The week was also marked by an acquisition in the software industry.

And on the acquisition front, Trimble, of Sunnyvale, Calif. a well-known company in project management software, estimating systems and related tools for the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) market acquired Trade Service Co., San Diego,  from  GF Capital Private Equity Fund, LP and senior management. Trade Service is a leader in content acquisition, aggregation, management, publishing and distribution of product and pricing information used by manufacturers, distributors and contractors. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Trade Service suite of content and pricing solutions, used by more than 20,000 clients, allows distributors and contractors of all sizes instant access to current product pricing and specification data within a Web-based environment.

As a subscription service, contractors can log into the system to search and find products, compare pricing from hundreds of manufacturers and choose the best component for their estimate. Also offered as a service through the Trade Service API, the specification and pricing data can be used by third-party software vendors to extend functionality into existing estimating and pricing solutions.

Trimble owns Accubid, a leader in estimating, project management and service management software for electrical and mechanical contractors. It also owns QuickPen and AutoBid estimating software for the plumbing market.

Bryn Fosburgh, Trimble vice president, said in a press release announcing the acquisition, “Real-time specification and pricing information are key elements to the construction bidding process as well as the overall building construction lifecycle. Tightly integrating Trade Service data into Trimble’s estimating solutions as well as using the information to extend the value of BIM data to the owner is a strategic goal of connecting key workflows across the design, build and operate continuum.”

And electrical giant Rexel was also in the news. Rexel’s controlling shareholder Ray Investment said it has sold a 10 percent stake in the electrical supplier for 487.54 million euros ($635 million), according to the Reuters news agency.

It was the second recent sizeable Rexel stake sale by Ray, which is controlled by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Eurazeo , Bank of America Merrill Lynch and the Caisse des Depots et Consignations du Quebec.


Jack Keough was the editor of Industrial Distribution magazine for more than 26 years. He often speaks at many industry events and seminars. He can be reached at john.keough@comcast.net.

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