Freshfields set for more Wolseley work

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer must be rubbing its hands with glee as client Wolseley, the world’s largest heating products distributor, last week signalled its intention to continue spending big on bolt-on deals.

Freshfields, through corporate partner Stephen Hewes, has already reaped a windfall this year. Hewes led the team advising the company in September on its largest transaction yet – the £1.35bn acquisition of DT Group from CVC Partners. The private equity vendor felt sufficiently comfortable with Freshfields as Wolseley’s advisers and took local advice from Copenhagen-based firm Bech-Bruun. In this financial year Wolseley has added five bolt-ons, all in Europe and North America, for a total of £160m.

Four of them, worth £111, were announced last week. Wolseley chief executive Chip Hornsby hinted Hewes and his team would be busy again soon.