HD Supply has signed a letter of intent to sell its Rheem/Ruud HVAC operations to Watsco Inc., Coconut Grove, FL, an HD Supply spokeswoman confirmed. She said  ; the companies are in the process of due diligence on the deal.   ; If it moves forward, the transaction would close in the first quarter of 2008. The assets will become part of Watsco's Gemaire group in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.   ; HD Supply will hold onto its plumbing assets.
The HD Supply Plumbing/HVAC business Web site lists Hughes Supply and Apex Supply Co. as the two companies that made up the division. Former revenue reports do not separate the plumbing from the HVAC sales.
Apex, Atlanta, GA , was acquired by Home Depot in early 2000. It is a Southeast regional plumbing supplies and HVAC distributor; at the time of the deal it had 21 locations in Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina .
Hughes Supply reported its Plumbing/HVAC segment had sales of $1.12 billion for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2006. HD agreed  ; to buy  ; Hughes in January 2006.
According to the HD Supply Web site, the plumbing/HVAC division has locations in 18 states.
The move to sell HVAC assets to Watsco  ; is the second since HD Supply was bought by a trio of private equity firms. The first divestment planned is HD Supply's Lumber & Building Materials assets, which will be sold to Pro-Build Holdings. Those assets, based in the Southeast, are part of Williams Bros. Lumber and Cox Lumber, with combined revenues at time of acquisition of $700 million.
; It is unknown yet what the company will ultimately focus on as it moves forward, but the new owners told MDM shortly after the acquisition that HD Supply would continue to acquire.   ; However, an HD Supply spokeswoman said HD Supply is not planning any other divestments in the near-term.   ; Watsco also recently acquired ACR Group, Houston, TX, a $240 million distributor of heating and air conditioning products. ACR operates from 54 locations.