Reading, England-based Wolseley plc said one of its wholly owned subsidiaries has acquired Tobler Management Holding AG from CapVis, a financial investor, for about $93.6 million (U.S.). The acquisition, which now gives Wolseley a presence in 13 countries, was completed Nov. 28.

With a market share of about 22%, Tobler is the leading wholesaler for heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and “behind the wall” sanitation products in Switzerland and is also one of the leading providers of technical maintenance services, Wolseley said. For the year ended Dec. 31, 2002, Tobler reported sales of about $187 million (U.S.) and operating profit before goodwill amortization of $12.5 million (U.S.). Net assets, excluding debt, at that date were $60.3 million (U.S.). Tobler employs about 600 people in its network of 21 branches, supported by six “super branches.”

Key operational management of Tobler will remain with the business and join the Wolseley group, reporting to Gérard Legtmann, Wolseley's chief executive officer Europe.

This acquisition is in line with Wolseley's strategy to expand its operations in continental Europe, according to Charlie Banks, group chief executive.