Sonepar USA plans to approach the integration of Hagemeyer’s U.S. assets much like it does any other company it acquires, CEO Tony Burr tells MDM in a recent interview. It has a different customer base, predominantly, and a different market approach,” he says. Sonepar has not yet acquired Dutch electrical distributor Hagemeyer’s assets in North America, Asia-Pacific and select European markets from Paris-based Rexel, but the plan is to do so before the end of the year.
Sonepar’s strategy is to leave acquired companies’ trading names and management in place; with this operating structure, the distributor recognizes that distribution is largely a local business and that it is important to cater to local needs.
In Hagemeyer’s case, “We’ll find there will be some good things going on in Hagemeyer that we’re not doing, and I’m sure that there will be some good things going on throughout Sonepar that they will learn from,” Burr says.
Rexel closed the acquisition of Hagemeyer NV at the end of March. In a statement issued at the end of March, Rexel outlined its new profile with Hagemeyer in its fold:
“The acquisition of most of Hagemeyer’s European activities considerably expands Rexel’s footprint in Europe and creates a more resilient group in terms of end-markets, with greater exposure to maintenance and renovation. Rexel is now present in 34 countries, compared to 29 prior to the transaction, expands its branch network in Europe by approximately 50% and gains leadership positions in such markets as the United Kingdom and Scandinavia.”
Rexel considers itself No. 1 in North America and Asia-Pacific and said that it “becomes a stronger No. 2 in Europe. The company now generates about 59% of its pro forma sales in Europe, 35% in North America, 6% in Asia-Pacific, compared with 48%, 45% and 7% respectively before this transaction.
The interview with Tony Burr will be featured in the May 10, 2008, issue of MDM. Learn more about MDM’s twice-monthly newsletter by clicking here.
UPDATE: The interview has been posted. Read it here.