Switzerland: Wolseley aims for dominance with Swiss merger

Molseley, the world’s largest plumbing supplies company, plans to spin off its Swiss business into a joint venture that it hopes will become an industry powerhouse.

The FTSE 100 company has agreed to merge Tobler – its Swiss unit, which supplies equipment such as radiators, boilers and toilets – with local company Walter Meier, which operates in heating and air conditioning.

Best known in Britain for its Plumb Center business, Wolseley sees the tie-up as an opportunity to combine two complementary businesses to create a single market leading operation with combined annual revenues of more than £400m.

Under the proposed terms to the merger, Wolseley, which currently generates about 55pc of the combined revenues, will receive a Swf 117.8m (£94m) payment from Walter Meier and take a 39.2pc stake in the enlarged business.

The Meier family’s stake will be the same size with the remainder of shares being a free float.

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