Rexel’s ninth buy in 14 months; Eurazeo sells portion of ownership interest

Rexel’s Belgium buy makes nine in the past 14 months


Rexel announced last week that it had acquired Wilts Wholesale of the United Kingdom. Two days later, the company said it had acquired Belgium’s La Grange, “a longstanding independent layer in the distribution of electrical suppliers and a lighting specialist.” La Grange was said to have annual sales close to $65 million.


So far in 2012, Rexel has acquired one company in Belgium, one in Canada, one in the United Kingdom and two in Brazil. In 2011, Rexel also made acquisitions in Brazil, India and two in China. That’s nine distributors acquired worldwide in a 14-month period.


Eurazeo sells slice of ownership interest in Rexel 


Eurazeo, a listed investment company, is one of the three partners who own a controlling interest in Rexel. The public owns the rest of the company’s shares; Rexel trades on the Paris exchange.


According to a Reuters report, Eurazeo has sold off 30 million shares of Rexel to institutional owners.


That’s only a portion of Eurazeo’s ownership interest, which is now at 18.1%, down from 21.5%.


Eurazeo’s partners are Clayton Dubilier & Rice and Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit.


Debt upgraded


Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Rexel’s debt a notch, reflecting “recognition of the company’s improved operating performance and solid cash generation, resulting in deleveraging through 2011,” Moody’s said.

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