Rexel Group to acquire GE Supply

PARIS, France, and LOUISVILLE, KY, U.S.-  July 11, 2006 – The Rexel Group, distributor of electrical supplies, and GE Consumer & Industrial, a unit of General Electric, have announced the signing of an agreement for Rexel to acquire GE Supply, GE’s electrical distribution business. The acquisition, for a total consideration of U.S. $725 million, will continue Rexel’s leadership in the consolidation of the electrical distribution industry. 
 
With U.S $2.2 billion in pro forma 2005 annual revenues for the transferred business to Rexel, GE Supply is a distributor of electrical products produced by GE and more than 200 other manufacturers. The business is headquartered in Shelton, CT, and employs approximately 2,500 people in more than 150 locations around the world. GE Supply’s core electrical distribution activities operate mainly in the U.S.
 
After the acquisition of GE Supply, Rexel will operate in the U.S. through a dual-banner strategy, serving an expanded customer base with a larger product offering and reinforced network density. 

Jean-Charles Pauze, Chairman and CEO of Rexel said, “By welcoming this highly valuable company within the Group, Rexel will double its presence in the U.S. with nearly $5 billion in sales and reinforce its leadership in the world’s largest and fast growing electrical distribution market. The acquisition of GE Supply not only increases our presence in the U.S. but demonstrates Rexel’s ability to drive consolidation of the industry. This value enhancing investment is a logical step forward and validates the attractiveness of our business model.”
 
Rexel board member Roberto Quarta, representative of Rexel’s shareholders and a partner of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Inc., said, “Together with Eurazeo and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity, we strongly support Rexel and its management team as they continue to build significant value through their acquisition strategy in the attractive and highly fragmented global electrical distribution market.”
 
"The GE Supply team has done a great job of growing the business," said James P. Campbell, President and CEO, GE Consumer & Industrial. "Rexel is committed to fostering GE Supply’s continued growth by providing support that will help the business expand its presence, products and services for their customers. It’s a great fit. The terms of this sale also ensure that GE Supply will remain a strategic distribution channel for GE products. This is a big win for us and for the customers that count on GE Supply to take care of all of their GE product needs."
 
Upon closing, GE Supply will operate as a stand-alone organization and will report to the newly-created Rexel U.S. Holding group currently headed by Dick Waterman, Rexel Inc.’s Executive Vice President and CEO. Senior Vice President and CEO of GE Supply Jeff Schaper, along with his leadership team, will continue to operate the business.
 
The transaction is expected to close by early August 2006, subject to consent of Rexel’s senior lenders. 
 
In the past 18 months, Rexel has expanded its global footprint through acquisitions of electrical distribution businesses in Europe and in the U.S., and has recently completed acquisitions with Electro-Material, the leading electrical wholesaler in Switzerland, ElettroBergamo (Italy) and Capitol Light and Supply (U.S.).  Rexel was acquired in 2005 by an investor group including Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Eurazeo and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity.
 
For more information, visit Rexel’s web site at www.rexel.com.

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