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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Van Meter Inc., an Iowa-based distributor of electrical and mechanical supplies and solutions, announced that it will expand its business territory to the east and west in 2016.

"We've entered into an agreement to purchase Bright Electrical Supply Company in downtown Chicago. The purchase is expected to be complete by December 31," explained Kevin Powell, Van Meter's President and CEO. "We also plan to open a new branch in Omaha in second quarter of 2016."

The acquisition of Bright Electrical Supply Company and the new branch in Omaha will expand Van Meter's presence in the Midwest to 16 locations. Both initiatives underscore Van Meter's commitment to growth. The company acquired Miller Electric Supply in March of 2015.

Bright Electric is known for its expertise and customer service in lighting distribution. "With up to 40 percent of a commercial building's energy consumption being attributable to lighting and a tremendous amount of innovation taking place among leading lighting manufacturers, this is an area we want to focus on," said Powell. "Bright represents an investment in a new market and an opportunity to further our specialization in a dynamic and growing space."

Van Meter has been servicing customer projects and doing business in Nebraska for several years now. "We're committed to growing with our customers and are confident the time is right for us to have a physical presence in Omaha," added Powell. "A key part of our growth strategy is to expand into new markets."

Recruitment efforts are underway to staff a team at Van Meter's Omaha branch. Positions include sales personnel, technical specialists and warehouse and delivery team members.

According to Powell, Van Meter is about much more than products and parts. "We believe in partnership. Our best-in-class fulfillment rates, same-day delivery and technical expertise, set us apart from our competition. Everything we do is intended to add value and improve the bottom line of our customers – whether it's operational efficiencies, customized solutions, enhanced safety or exceptional service. We look forward to bringing this level of service and expertise to two new markets in 2016," concluded Powell.