Westinghouse Electric Corporation formed WESCO in 1922, for the purpose of selling and distributing Westinghouse-manufactured products.
WESCO’s management team and Clayton, Dubilier and Rice (CD&R), a private investment company, purchased WESCO from Westinghouse In 1994.
WESCO Distribution management, with sponsorship from an investor group led by The Cypress Group, agreed to purchase WESCO from CD&R and other owners, in 1998. A new holding company was formed with the name of WESCO International.
WESCO International got listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1999.
The company started growing through acquisitions. In 2001, it acquired Herning Enterprises, a utility distributor serving utility and telecommunications contractors in urban areas of California, Washington, Arizona, and Utah.
During 2003, WESCO completed $51 million mortgage financing including 75 properties located throughout the US. The proceeds of the loans were used to reduce the borrowings of the company under the revolving credit and the accounts receivable securitization facilities. In the following year, the company announced a public offering of four million shares of its common stock.
In July 2005, WESCO acquired the assets and business of Fastec Industrial Corp, an importer and distributor of industrial fasteners, cabinet and locking and latching products. WESCO International acquired Carlton-Bates, a distributor of resistors, capacitors, diodes, switches, relays, contactors, motor starters, fuses, cable and industrial controllers for MRO and OEM markets, in September 2005.
WESCO acquired Communications Supply Corporation, a national distributor of low voltage network infrastructure and industrial wire and cable products, in November 2006.