Rexel plans to acquire Wasco, a large distributors of HVAC products and services in the Netherlands. Founded in 1970 and owned by Gilde Equity Management, Wasco operates 35 branches and two distribution centers in the Netherlands, and generated sales of €540m (approximately $575 million) over the last twelve months through end-April 2023, including 60% through digital channels. With this acquisition, Rexel will double in size in the Netherlands, making it the Group’s fourth-biggest country.
Over more than 50 years, Wasco has built a strong presence on the Dutch HVAC market, which is in the forefront of Europe’s energy transition, driven by national regulations. The conversion from gas boilers to electrical heat pumps has allowed Wasco to post double-digit growth over the past few years and will further support sustainable demand. This acceleration in the energy transition also leads to increasing proximity between the HVAC and electricity markets in the Netherlands, both at installer and distributor level, enabling more cross-selling opportunities.
The Wasco acquisition will allow Rexel to benefit from energy-transition related opportunities. Those markets (HVAC in the case of Wasco but also photovoltaic solutions, industrial automation or EV charging solutions), whose growth is substantially above Rexel’s in other markets, should also bring resiliency as they are driven by corporate agendas to reduce their emissions, as well as government incentive plans. Rexel has already developed a successful HVAC business, concentrated in countries where heating is traditionally electric, such as France.