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.