Rexel acquires GE Supply, augments electrical distribution offerings

By Control Engineering Staff July 19, 2006

The Rexel Group and GE Consumer & Industrial, a unit of General Electric, agreed that Rexel will acquire GE Supply , GE’s electrical distribution business. Rexel’s acquisition will total $725 million and continue the company’s plans for consolidation of the electrical distribution industry.

Rexel says it is a significant player in the $64 billion U.S. market for electrical products through Rexel Inc., which posted $2.5 billion in sales in 2005. GE Supply, based in Shelton, CT, is a distributor of electrical products produced by GE and more than 200 other manufacturers, and it employs approximately 2,500 people in more than 150 locations globally.

After the acquisition of GE Supply, Rexel says it will operate in the U.S. through a dual-banner strategy, serving an expanded customer base with a much larger product offering. Rexel plans to use GE Supply’s project management experience and national footprint to attract key accounts.

Jean-Charles Pauze, chairman and CEO of Rexel says, ‘By welcoming this highly valuable company within the Group, Rexel will double its presence in the U.S. and demonstrate Rexel’s ability to drive consolidation of the industry.”

‘The terms of this sale also ensure that GE Supply will remain a strategic distribution channel for GE products,’ said James P. Campbell, President and CEO, GE Consumer & Industrial.

Upon closing, GE Supply will operate as a stand-alone organization and will report to the newly created Rexel U.S. Holding group 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. The companies made the announcement July 11.

–Edited by Lisa Sutor , Control Engineering intern