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Wolseley Agrees to Sell UK-based Build Center to Saint-Gobain

Wolseley, Zug, Switzerland, has agreed to sell Build Center, its building materials distribution business in the UK, to French manufacturer and distributor Saint-Gobain. Wolseley has also entered into exclusive negotiations with Saint-Gobain to sell Brossette, its plumbing and heating distribution business in France. Total consideration for the two transactions is £310 million (US$504.9 million).

“The transactions we have announced today are the last significant disposals planned following last year’s strategic review," says Ian Meakins, chief executive of Wolseley plc. "We will continue to focus and invest in our strongest businesses in core markets including building materials and wood solutions in France and plumbing, heating, pipe, climate and associated businesses in the UK."

In the 11 months ended June 30, 2011, Build Center generated revenue of £294 million (US$478.9 million) and trading profit of £4 million (US$6.5 million). In the same period, Brossette had sales of £590 million (US$961 million) and trading profit of £5 million (US$8.1 million).

“These two acquisitions, which will add more than €1 billion (US$1.4 billion) of sales, are perfectly in line with the strategy of Saint-Gobain," says Pierre-André de Chalendar, CEO of Saint-Gobain. "They will further develop our Building Distribution Sector and complement the geographical presence in two of the sector’s key businesses – general building distribution in the UK and plumbing, heating and sanitary products in France – while creating significant synergies, particularly in the areas of purchasing and logistics.”

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