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Wolseley sells Electric Centre Group

ELECTRIC Center, the £130m turnover electric products wholesaler based in Warwickshire, has been sold to a Cheshire rival.

The Leamington Spa company, a division of the Wolseley group, has been bought by Knutsford-based Edmundson Electrical, whose West Midlands operation is in Solihull.

Sources close to the deal said the transaction was worth between £30m and £40m.

Wolseley said today completion would follow a period of employee consultation and was expected to occur in the next few weeks.

Edmundson Electrical is a subsidiary of Marlowe Holdings, a £1bn turnover company owned by the US-based Blackfriars Group.

The announcement follows recent reports that Wolseley had appointed Bank of America Merrill Lynch to run an auction of the Electric Center, trade supplier the Build Center and insulation specialist Encon.

Electric Center was formed following the acquisition of AC Electrical Wholesale in 2006 and has 575 employees across 85 branches.

In the year ended July 31, 2010, Electric Center said it generated revenue of £130m and a trading profit of £1.5m.

In the 10 months to the end of May this year, revenue was £115m and trading profit was £2.2m, it said.

Net assets at completion are expected to be around £29m and the transaction is expected to generate a small gain on disposal.

The cash consideration would be used to pay down debt, Wolseley said in a statement today.

Wolseley chief executive Ian Meakins said: "This transaction is in line with our strategy of focusing on businesses where we can create leading market positions.

"Given the complementary nature of Edmundson and Electric Center, the transaction represents a good outcome for the business and its employees. We wish them every success for the future."

Source : Tamlyn Jones - The Business Centre.com
www.thebusinessdesk.com/westmidlands/news/192030-wolseley-sells-spa-based-electric-center.html

12 July 2011
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