Sonepar Acquisitions Expand European Footprint

The largest electrical distributor in the world made several moves to expand its operations on its home continent. Sonepar Group SA, Paris, France, announced that companies with operations in Germany, Belgium, Italy and Romania had joined the group.

Solar Deutschland, with headquarters in Neumünster, north of Hamburg, is a 27-location distributor active in solar and electrical throughout northern Germany. It will be joining Sonepar, subject to approval from competition authorities in Germany, before the end of April 2015. Solar Deutschland has almost 360 associates and produced 2014 sales of close to €125 million. Sonepar’s announcement highlighted the expansion of geographic coverage in Germany’s northern region.

Vanas Beyond Tools, based in Antwerp, Belgium, is a specialty distributor in tooling and lifting equipment. It’s been a family-owned distributor since 1946, with a workforce of 45 and 2014 sales of €14 million. It joined Sonepar’s Cebeo business in Belgium as of Feb. 1.

According to the Cebeo website (www.cebeo.be, as translated by Google), Vanas Tools Beyond was the most suitable partner for the expansion of Cebeo’s existing product portfolio and technical expertise in tooling and lifting equipment, while the partnership with Cebeo gives Vanas Beyond Tools greater scale in terms of logistics and e-business.

Gruppo Matel SpA, based in Padua, Italy, brings Sonepar a full-service electrical distributor with operations in Italy and Romania. Gruppo Matel was founded in 1987 and has seven branches in Italy, primarily in the northeast part of the country, working mostly in the residential market, which produced sales of €28 million in 2013, Sonepar said. Gruppo Matel also operates three branches in Romania’s biggest cities under the Eurosei brand, where it generated an additional €2 million in 2013.  Sonepar employs about 36,000 associates at more than 190 business units in 41 countries. The company posted sales of €16.3 billion in 2013.

While the company has been comparatively quiet on the acquisition front in North America in recent months, it has been on a tear in Europe and Pacific markets. As reported in last month’s News Watch, Sonepar  also recently acquired companies in Asia’s oil & gas market and expanded in Hawaii with two acquisitions by its OneSource Distributors division. The Oceanside, Calif.-based OneSource acquired Rasko Supply, Honolulu, Hawaii, and Rasco Supply, Kaua’i, Hawaii. Eleven-year-old Rasko Supply serves the electrical construction market for the island of Oahu. Rasco Supply in Kaua’i and has been in business since 1983.

On the oil & gas front, four companies recently joined Sonepar in Asia, adding 23 million in sales (approximately US $27 million) and 67 associates to its Asian footprint. Sonepar said the moves reinforce its position in the Hong Kong and Macau markets and boost its oil & gas presence throughout Southeast Asia.

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