Opinion – Rexel buys HVACR distributor in Europe. What does that mean for their North American distribution strategy

An interesting acquisition for Rexel in Europe in the HVACR Channel. What does it mean for the North American Electrical Distribution powerhouse in North America?  Does Rexel consider expanding into HVACR in North America?

Rexel announced last week that it will acquire Wasco, an HVAC distributor based in the Netherlands. The US Electrical Powerhouse with great brands including – Rexel, Platt, Mayer Electric Supply, and Gexpro may be a future signal that growing in the HVACR channel in the US could be considered in the future. Rexel announced that the transaction is valued at €485 ($518) million — 9.2 times Wasco’s EBITDA — and is expected to close in the second half of 2023, according to a news release.

Wasco is a distributor of heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and sanitary equipment. The company operates 35 branches and two distribution centers in the Netherlands. The European and North American market do have distinct differences in how the channel operates, but the move might signal a willingness to drift from primarily just Electrical into the parallel HVACR channel.

Electrical Trends (the sister publication to HVACR Trends) has a great article on the Rexel acquisition from the Electrical and HVACR channel perspective below.

Billows, Sonepar, CBT and Rexel in Acquisition News

The Rexel release talks about how the  acquisition will allow Rexel to benefit from markets that are at the forefront of Europe’s energy transition, including the Dutch HVAC market, solar photovoltaic solutions, industrial automation and EV charging solutions.

“With the acquisition of Wasco, we are totally in line with our strategy aiming at seizing electrification and energy transition opportunities,” Rexel CEO Guillaume Texier “It’s also fully consistent with our purpose, ‘Electrifying solutions that make a sustainable future possible.’

As always, we would love to get your feedback, so please feel free to comment below or reach out to me at john.gunderson@dorngroup.com

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